Apocalypse of Paul: A new critical edition of three long by Theodore Silverstein and Anthony Hilhorst

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By Theodore Silverstein and Anthony Hilhorst

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Since then, techniques have become popular throughout the Southern Hemisphere and have spread to the North (Chambers, 1997). COUNTERING CONVENTIONAL WISDOM The participatory approach contrasts with the dominant scientific approach to social research in the Northern Hemisphere. Unlike participatory methodology, the scientific method separates the researcher from the material being researched. Conventional science takes two main forms: deductive or inductive. 2 In the inductive form, there is standard sampling, pre-coded questions, coding and analysis, leading to a matrix of correlations, significance tests or other statistical procedures.

This framework, though precise, was not intended to be entirely prescriptive, and researchers had a certain leeway in order to take account of local conditions. It was often necessary to interpret questions and to conduct the interviews so that the respondents better understood them and could discuss them freely in the interviews. With this in mind, not only were the questions translated into the appropriate local language or dialect, in some cases – for example, in Guyana – they were rephrased according to the linguistic abilities of respondents.

An explanation of the project was given to allay any fears that may have arisen concerning use of the material in the future. Individuals in the planned interviews were solicited via telephone, email and letters. Particular attention was paid to the time of day and place for the interview in order to ensure that both interviewers and interviewees would be physically and mentally up to the task. Consent was sought from all participants before the interview for permission to audio/video tape, quote or photograph and, where possible, a letter of thanks followed the interview.

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