Steven Lubet

Steven Lubet is Williams Memorial Professor at the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law and author of Interrogating Ethnography: Why Evidence Matters, and other books such as 2015's The “Colored Hero” Of Harper’s Ferry: John Anthony Copeland And The War Against Slavery and Lawyers' Poker: 52 Lessons That Lawyers Can Learn From Card Players. He is the director of the Fred Bartlit Center for Trial Advocacy. He has been living with ME/CFS since 2006.

Cricket scoreboard numbers

Ethnography’s Denominator Blues

Steven Lubet set out to investigate whether ethnography’s characteristic reliance on unverified accounts may sometimes produce misinformation. He argues that In any other academic discipline, his findings would have provoked less umbrage and more reinvestigation.

2 months ago
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Quadrant showing basics of fact-checking

Parsing Fact and Perception in Ethnography

Fact and perception are simply different categories, neither of which is necessarily more important than the other, argues Steve Lubet. . The challenge for ethnographers lies in making clear and careful distinctions between what they have actually seen and what they have only heard about.

5 months ago
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movie character uses shotgun in murder

Finding Fault with Faux Facts

No matter how exquisite the details, it is important to separate fact from folklore – which should not require cross examination.

6 months ago
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Venn diagram of confirmation bias

Confirmation Bias Is a Helluva Drug

We expect to see confirmation bias play an active role in the politics, where there is a satisfying emotional payoff from assuming the worst of the other side. We do not expect the same phenomenon among highly educated professionals, especially in their seemingly well researched publications. And yet …

10 months ago
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Leon Redbone, Fact Checking, and Ethnography

In recent popular music, there have been few if any performers as enigmatic as the late Leon Redbone, who died on May 30. With a vintage repertoire featuring tunes from ragtime, blues, vaudeville, and Tin Pan Alley, and always appearing in dark glasses and a Panama hat, he looked like a figure straight out of the 1920s.

2 years ago
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Are Ethnographers Ever Wrong?

Steven Lubet, the author of ‘Interrogating Ethnography: Why Evidence Matters,’ explains the importance of his approach to investigating the discipline — to ‘put it on trial’ — and to reiterate the idea that accuracy matters in social science. Spurring on his restatement is a recent review on Social Science Space that Lubet argues missed his point entirely.

4 years ago
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