A proper talking to

April 4, 2003

Sarah Nelson claims qualitative researchers are being "patronising and discriminatory" when presenting direct quotes from working-class and less-educated people, because they may contain local accents or poor grammar (Soapbox, THES, March 28).

She ends by asking us "gritty social researchers" to give "people who don't speak proper a bit of proper respect". Maybe I have missed the point, but who is being disrespectful here? What gives one person the right to define what is proper in speech?

Sara MacKian Manchester University

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