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  • Global Development
  • Department of Global Development

Seminar in Critical Development Studies co-hosted by Cornell Global Development, the Cornell Center for Social Sciences Qualitative & Interpretive Research Institute, and the Graduate Field of Development Studies


In this talk, I will discuss my new book, Rocking Qualitative Social Science (Stanford University Press, 2021), focusing on my motivations for writing it and what I see as its main contributions. I will emphasize the importance of matching the research process to the goals of the research project. In that spirit, I will contrast the common emphasis on the one “right way” of doing qualitative research to what I call the “dirtbagging” approach to research, which is a more inclusive and flexible approach that still follows the scientific method, but rearranges the steps in ways that we are often told not to do. Finally, I will offer some highlights from the book focused on countering some conventional wisdom.

About the speaker: 

Ashley Rubin is an associate professor of sociology at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. She holds a PhD in Jurisprudence and Social Policy from UC Berkeley. Rubin's research examines the dynamics of penal change throughout US history. She is the author of The Deviant Prison (Cambridge University Press, 2021) and Rocking Qualitative Social Science (Stanford University Press, 2021).

Date & Time

February 3, 2023
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Headshot of Ashley Rubin

More information about this event.

Contact Information

Jenna LaMendola

  • JLaMendola [at]


Ashley Rubin, Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa


Department of Global Development

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