As new approaches to the development of knowledge emerge in the social sciences, there is a need to judge their appropriateness for use in social work research. Using criteria for assessing the goodness of fit between theories and social work values, this article evaluates institutional ethnography, a strategyfor studying institutions which is based on feminist standpoint theory. The author holds that the use of institutional ethnography in social work research is congruent with social work principles and effective in producing knowledge which can inform practice. Discussion of a study of Canadian social work education from the standpoint of gay men illustrates this argument. Implications for social work research and education are discussed.

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