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People and PollutionCultural Constructions and Social Action in Egypt$
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Nicholas S. Hopkins, Sohair R. Mehanna, and Salah el-Haggar

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9789774245725

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774245725.001.0001

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(p.22) 2 Methodology
People and Pollution

Nicholas S. Hopkins

Sohair R. Mehanna

Salah El-Haggar

American University in Cairo Press

This chapter focuses on the research project that was carried out over a three-year period, from early 1995 to mid-1997. The approach used in this project was specifically guided by an anthropological frame of reference. Its first step was to identify reasonably bounded social units for research. Within these areas or localities, the researchers then conducted surveys, organized focus groups, interviewed key informants, followed local events, and measured air and water quality and noise levels. The methodological goal of this project was to situate the numerical results coming from a survey in the context of neighborhood social and cultural data coming from intensive contact with a single locality. The concern of this project was not with a collection of individual “perceptions,” but with the collective “construction.” Thus, this research was fit broadly within the constructivist paradigm, with a goal of elaborating a cultural model.

Keywords:   research project, social units, surveys, local events, cultural model

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