This paper uses the focus of identity and acculturation within schools as the basis for a reflection on the ways in which researchers ground their investigations. It identifies the necessity for researchers to ensure that their own ontological perceptions, epistemological\ud stances and methods for data gathering and interpretation are closely aligned. By investigating the ways in which a diversity of methodological approaches are used to\ud address the issue of identity formation, as reflected in three school-based studies (Houlette et al, 2004; illbourn, 2006; Nasir et al, 2009), the paper facilitates a teasing out of ontological and epistemological issues. The practical implications are that, through a deeper awareness of the ontological substructures informing their studies, researchers will be more clearly positioned to iteratively reflect upon, and define how best to engage with, their research projects
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