The American Sociologist
Mel Pollner regularly cautioned researchers not to argue with the members of settings under consideration. He warned against substituting the researcher’s meaning for the meanings of those being studied. This article discusses facets of the caution as they relate to the research process. Seemingly simple, the tenet is nuanced in application. The article adds to the nuance by distinguishing what is called the “replacement” of meaning with the “displacement” of meaning, providing a way of understanding what members could mean if the contexts and settings of their accounts were taken into consideration.