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The University of Southampton

Mariana Borges: Ethnography as a tool for innovation in theories of political behaviour Seminar

12:00 - 13:00
18 March 2024
Centenary Building 100 /8013

Event details

With its detailed attention to context and the meanings individuals attribute to their reality, ethnography's role as a tool for questioning established political behaviour theories is well-known and recognized.

But can a method that emphasizes context-based explanations also help us build broader and more generalizable theories of political behaviour? Based on my book manuscript, in this talk, I will discuss how ethnographic evidence can be mobilized to support innovative theories of political behaviour without losing its attention to context and meaning-making.

I will discuss how I used the combination of interpretivism and abduction as analytical tools with a systematic ethnography to substantiate a new cultural theory of political behaviour that I propose in my book manuscript. Combining insights from cultural sociology and cognitive science, the cultural theory I offer provides a broad framework to understand political behaviour while emphasizing the importance of considering local meanings and contexts to better understand political choices.

Speaker information

Mariana Borges Martins da Silva, is a Lecturer in Politics at the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Southampton. Previously, she was a postdoctoral Prize Research Fellow in Politics at the Nuffield College, University of Oxford. She received her PhD from Northwestern University. Mariana's research focuses on political behaviour, particularly in clientelism, misinformation, and the representation of marginalized groups. Her works combine ethnography and survey methods to uncover the influence of culture on political behaviour.

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