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Ethnographic Research

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on 7 April 2016

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Transcript of Ethnographic Research

Ethnographic Research
Lindyneth B. Pérez O.
Ethnography refers to intensive study of the features of a given culture and the patterns in those features. It was developed by anthropologists, sociology and psychology contributed. 1960 ethnography as an alternative approach.

Readers expand their awareness of cultures and their own.
Culture is the central concept. Researchers view people as being grouped into many cultures, each with positive qualities and unique characteristics.

1. Focus on culture or aspects of culture.
2. Naturalistic study of individuals in the field.
Holistic ethnography:
Comprehensive description and analysis of the entire culture of a group of people.
It focuses on particular aspects of the culture (narrowed focus).

Critical ethnography
It involves the use of ethnography to study oppressive power relations in a specific culture.
It involves cataloging the semantic systems used by a culture to describe important social phenomena.
Many ethnographers lived in another culture in order for a period of years in order to investigate the origins of cultural phenomena. Today they study subcultures, they carry out data collection, they rely on unobtrusive data collection methods (observation, conversations) and immersion of themselves in the culture.
3. Making the familiar strange.
It involves analyzing a cultural phenomenon from the perspective of an outsider (to whom it is strange) while seeking to understand it from the perspective of an insider (to whom it is familiar).
Ethnographers´ mission is to reflect on lighter phenomena that members of a culture overlook because they are taken for granted.
4. Thick description.
Ethnographers typically describe the field setting in great detail and use extensive quotations from field participants.
The thick description is intended to bring the culture alive of the reader.
Description in present tense creates the impression of permanence or universality.
Ethnographies focus on specific aspects of culture, case studies focus on a wider range of phenomena.
Ethnographies involve longer, more in-depth period of data collection than case studies.
Ethnographers make cross-cultural comparisons to further explore and explain the phenomena.
Ethnology is the comparative study of cultues, case studies limit themselves to a sigular cultural context.
Culture: the pattern of traditions, symbols, rituals and artifacts that characterize a particular. Different cultural features are viewed as being systematically related to each other, forming an integrated whole.
Ethnographers believe that certain aspects of human culture have a particularly strong influence on individual and group life (social organization, socialization, learning, family structure, religious practices and ceremonial behavior). Ethnographers must study aspects related to the study.
Lancy identified three culturally themes on which educational ethnography has focused:
1. Enculturation: process by which cultural practices and beliefs are transferred to the youth or new members.
2. how communities adapt to or resist the efforts of formal educational institutions to shape and control the learning processes of the youth;
3. And the culture and subcultureof individuals in various social roles in institutions.
Formulating a Research Problem
The researcher must define the aspect of culture to be explored.
Ethnographers often formulate their problem then select the setting that fits it.
Collecting Field Data.
Ethnographers use the full range of qualitative data collection methods and also quantitative methods when appropriate.
-Participant observation(meaningful identity within the group but maintaining their role).
Although ethnography generally focuses on qualitative methods, quantitative methods can contribute to the study of a culture.

Analyzing and Interpreting Ethnographic Data
Analysis y qualitative research usually begins while the data are being collected, which means that observers would assume things instead of waiting until they go through all the steps.
Wrong: Observing and collecting data that does not match their hypothesis, theories an interpretations and adapt them to the findings of the collection.

Reporting Ethnographic Research.
Dobbert described an ethnographic report as having five parts:
1. A statement of the research questions and the situations and problems that led to them.
2. A description of the background research and theory used to refine the study´s questions and design.
3. A detailed review of the research design.
4. A presentation of the data: Heart and soul of the report.
5. An explaintion of the findings.
Ethnographic reports often have a story-like flavor, because of ethnographers´ concern for thick description.
Equation schooling and education.
Formal education institutions control the provision and validation of learning while people also learn in other contexts.

Learning as a cultural process.
Ethnographers of education face the issue of whether it is better to view learning primarily as a process of
cultural transmission
(how large the social structure intervenes in individuals´ lives to promote or discorage the aquisition of cultural values) and
cultural acquisition
(how people seek to acquire or not the characteristics of the culture).
Seven of the issues of credibility, trustworthiness and applicability of ethnography of education
Another position is that cultural aquisition and cultural transmission can figure in a given indivdual´s or group´s learning, the task of educational ethnography is to determine how cultural factors and human agency interact to coodetermine what individuals and groups learn.
Number two plays a central role in efforts to understand differences in educational success among the members of various cultural groups.
Ethnographers have studied minority groups, -money -hope.
Qualitative researchers interested in cultural aquisition study individuals´ sense of agency (the assumed ability to shape the conditions of one´s life whatever one´s cultural situation.

Spindler & Spindler (1992) said that ethnography can best contribute to the understanding of learning by showing how societies use their cultural resources to organize the conditions and purposes of learning.
-Ethnography has provided educational researchers a way to explore in depth various ways in which cultural factors affect teaching and learning.
-Qualitative researches use different criteria than quantitative researchers to judge the credibility, trustworthiness and applicability of their findings, this criteria involve reader judgement, data-collection, analysis procedures, etc.
-We should know about this but oriented to ethnographic research and ethnography of education.
Reflecting privileged discourse
. Some feminist theories argue that traditional ethnographers reflect a privileged male discourse that maintains unequal relationships between researchers and the members of the culture who are studied.
So ethnographers adopted a "dialogic" stance in which they conducted their research as a collaboration between researcher and members of the culture being studied. Educational ethnographers tend to use teachers as informants because of their experience. Teachers (-value) considering ethnographers superior
5. Difficulty in making the familiar strange. Educators who become researchers typically did good in school but they struggle when dicovering the hidden meanings of school cultures as it is experienced by individuals with different valse and experiences about education.
Students should do their first researches in distant societies.
6. Overidentification with informants. Ethnographers sometimes overidentify with one or more of the cultural groups from whom they seek their informants.
7. Balancing the emic and etic perspectives.
Emic perspective
: It involves the perceptions and language categories used by members of the culture to describe and explain the culture. Understand culture as a unique social reality.
Etic perspective: It is based on the researcher´s conceptual and theoretical orientations and involve standard categories for describing a culture. It provides the basis for the discovery of cross-cultural regularities.
Lancy (1993) affirms that they try to find a balance by checking correspondence between field participants´ thoughts about their setting and their actual behavior in that setting.
He developed a taxonomy list form interviews like messing around, work, etc and subcategories of those words to make a check list, then he tried the list in other six schools and he found a good match even it was applied to different students.
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