Theory and its derivative in methodology helps us to make sense of the world, providing a measure of intellectual perspective on any problem under study. As such it relates the observed facts not only to each other but to the observations and experiences of other researchers concerned with other problems. Methodology (as distinguished from technology which uses questionnaires, surveys, and so on) provides the context of our observations. It offers the researcher a more or less well-defined conceptual field or map into which he or she can sort and order the many and varied facts and impressions research generates. It is necessary, therefore, that the conceptual perspective be specified as clearly as possible. Once this has been accomplished it is possible for the reader to readily visualize the process governing the collection, organization, and analysis of data. And so the following chapter explicates the conceptual context which governed my study of underclass life.