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Spradley's Ethnographic Interview Prezi

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sharlyn menard

on 1 July 2014

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Transcript of Spradley's Ethnographic Interview Prezi

Part 1 Ethnographic Research
Chapter One: Ethnography and Culture
Developmental Research Sequence
Part Two
a study of culture, come of age
The Ethnographic Interview
by James P. Spradley

Part 1 Ethnographic Research
Chapter Two: Language and Field Work
Chapter Three: Informants
Part 1 Ethnographic Research
Locating an Informant
step 1
Interviewing an Informant
Making an Ethnographic Record
Asking Descriptive Questions
step 4
Analyzing Ethnographic Interviews
step 5
Making a Domain Analysis
step 6
Asking Structural Questions
step 7
Making a Taxonomic Analysis
step 8
Asking Contrasting Questions
step 9
Making a Componential Analysis
step 10
Discovering Cultural Themes
step 11
Writing an Ethnography
step 12
teacher - speaks his or her native language
dynamic of relationship - NOT friend, subject, respondent, or actor
answers questions and and defines the agenda
starts with naive ignorance on the part of the ethnographer
"My goal as ethnographer was to find out the meaning of all these concepts, not just the ones that seemed to connect with the dominant culture."
language is important!
Six Ethics Principles:
informant's interests first,
safeguarding their rights,
protect privacy,
communicate objectives,
making reports available
create a paradigm chart
1. select a contrast set for analysis
2. inventory all contrasts previously discovered
3. prepare a paradigm worksheet
4. identify dimensions of contrast w/binary values
5. combine closely related dimensions of contrast into ones that have multiple values
6. prepare contrast questions to elicit missing attributes and new dimensions of contrast
7. conduct an interview to elicit needed data
8. prepare a completed paradigm
can be explicit or tacit
themes as relationship
connect different subsystems
recur again and again
serve as general semantic relationship among domains
Strategies for Making a Theme Analysis
make a cultural inventory
make a componential analysis of folk domains
search for similarities among dimensions of contrast
identify organizing domains
make a schematic diagram of the cultural scene
search for universal themes
write a summary overview of the cultural scene
make comparisons with similar cultural scenes
good ones know their culture well and are currently involved
"The most productive relationship occurs between a thoroughly enculturated informant and a thoroughly unenculturated ethnographger." Spradley
Some informants want to perform their own analysis. This may not be your best model.
Thorough Enculturation
Current Involvement
informant requirements
ethnographic discovery
Making an ethnographic record
Ethnographic description
These feedback relationships underscore that each step in the ethnographic enterprise involves translation.
the work of describing a culture
rather than studying people, ethnography means learning from people
"Tsetchwe began to teach me..."
Ethnography for What?
understanding the human species
informing culture-bound theories
discovering grounded theory, that is theory grounded in empirical data of a cultural description
understanding complex societies
understanding human behavior
Ethnography in the Service of Humankind
Culture Defined
The acquired knowledge that people use to interpret experience and generate social behavior.
Language and Discovery
Language and Ethnographic Description
translation competence
contact societies
multi-cultural societies
cultural scenes
Know about
Learn about
asking ethnographic questions
every ethnographic description is a translation
avoid ethnocentric descriptions
social science description are not ethnographic descriptions
ethnography takes us "inside" the native experience with language
Creating a Paradigm chart identifies data for componential analysis.
Cultural themes are the universals that help us gain insights as they are revealed. Often summary writing is the path to discovery.
"The way to learn to write an ethnography is to write an ethnography."
six writing levels move from the general to the particular
need to include all levels, but in a certain proportion
this depends on your audience and goals
writing can elicit a personal response for a wide readership
writing can deliver vast amounts of information, but have a narrow audience
mixing them in a desirable proportion helps communicate effectively
Things to Consider
The Six Levels
1. Universal Statements
2. Cross-Cultural Descriptive Statements
3. General Statements about a Society or Cultural Group
4. General Statements about a Specific Cultural Scene
5. Specific Statements about a Cultural Domain
6. Specific Incident Statements
James Spradley
9 writing steps
1. select an audience
2. select a thesis
3. make a list of topics and write an outline
4. write a rough draft of each section
5. revise the outline and create subheads
6. edit the rough draft
7. write the introduction and conclusion
8. reread the manuscript for examples
9. Write the final draft
Good translation=Good writing on various levels and communicates the cultural meaning so well that someone unfamiliar can grasp.
In conducting ethnography, selecting a good informant can alleviate great challenges and helps in developing a productive relationship.
Ethnographic interviews are somewhat similar to friendly conversations
think of the ethnographic interview as a series of friendly conversations
Elements of Interview:
Element 2: Giving
Element 3: Asking
Element 1: Greetings
native language
Other Elements to Incorporate:
Asymmetrical turn taking
Expressing interest
Expressing cultural ignorance
Restating and Incorporating informant's terms
Creating hypothetical situations
Asking friendly questions
Taking leave
Important elements necessary when conducting ethnographic interview are building rapport, giving explanations, and asking questions.
"uncovering the system of cultural meanings that people use" Spradley
Conducting Ethnographic Research:
Selecting a Problem
Collecting Cultural Data
Analyzing Cultural Data
Formulating Ethnographic Hypotheses
Writing the Ethnography
These areas are intertwined because constant feedback is needed at each point.
Types of
Ethnographic Analysis:
Domain Analysis
Taxonomic Analysis
Componential Analysis
Theme Analysis
By using the four types of analysis and examining domains, meaning can be gleaned from the language of a culture and its underlying symbols.
Theory of
Basic Assertions:
*Cultural meaning systems are encoded in symbols
*Language is the primary symbol system used to encode cultural meaning
*Relationship of symbols is what gives meaning
*Decode cultural symbols and identify underlying codes
Making a Preliminary Search for Domains:
*Select from interview notes a sample verbatim
*Look for names of things
*Identify possible cover terms with examples from sample
*Search through additional notes for other related terms
Funmi Adebayo
Kara Hayslip
Adonnis Jules
Sharlyn Menard
Domain Analysis begins by looking at semantic relationships.
Characteristics of Semantic Relationships
not the most obvious part of any utterance
basic structure: 2 terms and a relationship
two types: universal and informant-expressed
9 Universal Semantic Relationships

1. Strict inclusion X is a kind of Y
2. Spatial X is a place in Y, X is part of Y
3. Cause-effect X is a result of Y, X is a cause of Y
4. Rationale X is a reason for doing Y
5. Location for action X is a place for doing Y
6. Function X is used for Y
7. Mean-End X is a way to do Y
8. Sequence X is a step (stage) in Y
9. Attribution X is an attribute of Y
Informant-Expressed Semantic Relationships
can be expressed as a universal, but more often is embedded and must be abstracted
by finding the relational connection between the folk terms it can then be treated as one form of a universal relationship
next one searches for other members of this domain and as other terms are collected, a domain is formulated
By keeping in mind a basic list of universal relationships and by searching for informant-expressed relationships, the ethnographer can find a doorway into the system of meaning of another culture.
Six interrelated steps:
1. Selecting a single semantic relationship
2. Preparing a Domain Analysis work sheet
3. Selecting a sample of informant statements
4. Searching for possible cover terms and included terms that fit the semantic relationship
5. Formulating Structural questions for each domain
6. Making a list of all hypothesized domains
Cultural Framework-
makes interviews as much like friendly conversations as possible
by using examples, the informant more clearly understands what you are asking
by varying the question slightly, this allows for the needed repetition to elicit all the folk terms in a domain
by placing information in context for the informant it aids his/her recall and expands a structural question
it is important to ask the questions in a cultural framework, outside of just a personal reference
For further refinement, there are 5 major types of structural questions and several subtypes. Although some serve different functions, most represent alternative ways to verify the existence of a folk domain or to elicit folk terms included in folk domain. The ethnographer must be sensitive to individual responses to each type of question, using those best suited to each informant.
Figure 7.1 Kinds of Structural Questions
1. Verification Questions
1.1 Domain Verification Questions
1.2 Included Term Verification Questions
1.3 Semantic Relationship Verification Questions
1.4 Native-Language Verification Questions
2. Cover Term Questions
3. Included Term Questions
4. Substitution Frame Questions
5. Card Sorting Structural Questions
Figure 7.1
Discovery Principles in the Study of Meaning
meaning of a symbol discovered in relationship to all other symbols
meaning of a symbol discovered by asking how it is used rather than what it means
meaning of a symbol discovered by finding out how it is similar to other symbols
meaning of a symbol discovered by finding out how it is different from other symbols
"a box diagram,
set of lines and nodes,
or an outline"
Step 1- Identify the symbols of the community you are studying which hold deeper meaning for the group.
Step 2- Decide whether to take a broad perspective or a narrow focus. Advantages to both: holism or faithful interpretation respectively.
Step 4 - Search for the parts of a culture, the relationships among the parts and their relationships to the whole.
Step 3 - Form a taxonomy by grouping together terms gathered based upon a single connection.
Whatever symbols you decide to study, stay with only those your informant knows significant information about.
Lang. is a tool 4 constrcting realty, ethnographer must notce its import n communities & society @lrge. Translatng ethno. data always comes frm native scenes #JPSpradley#Ch.2#EthnoIntervw
Informant is the teacher & language is the medium of translation of culture. Ethics important; no exploitation with the informant's rights first & foremost.
2 make a domain analysis u hav 2 knw the diffrnt semantic relationshps & steps n domain analysis. This step howevr is not a once4all procedur. It must B repeatd as new data is collctd thru intervws. #JPSpradley#Sec6#EthnoIntervw
There R principls 4 askng structral questns & knwng the diffrnt kinds. 1 must knw tht structurl questons all function 2 explre the organzaton of an informnts knowldg & how that knowldg is organzd
our group
"consists of field notes from observations, tape recordings, pictures, artifacts, and other documentation from cultural scene" Spradley
A major piece of ethnography is language and deciding the language to be used when recording is important in order to avoid translation.
Two Helpful Principles:
Language Identification Principle
-set things off with quotation marks
or parentheses
Verbatim Principle
-writing things down word for word
Condensed Account
Expanded Account
Field Work Journal
Analysis and Interpretation
4 Types of Field Notes:
Using a variety of tools to record field notes during interviews or observations and paying attention to language helps in translation.
Interviewing involves two processes:
building rapport and eliciting information.
The Rapport Process:
Grand Tour Questions:
Native Language
Direct Language
"Descriptive questions form the basis for all ethnographic interviewing. They lead directly to a large sample of utterances that are expressed in the language used by informants in the cultural scene." Spradley
By building rapport and using descriptive questions to gain information, more ethnographic learning results.
Eliciting Information Process:
Ethnography is for the understanding of people in order to better relate and serve.
The third major type of ethnographic questions used are contrasting questions. Each type of contrast question is designed to elicit differences among the folk terms in a contrast set. The fundamental rule for all types :
ask for contrasts among members of the same contrast set.
These questions help with the next step of making a componential analysis.
Figure 9.1 Kinds of Contrast Questions
1. Contrast verification questions

2. Directed contrast questions

3. Dyadic contrast questions

4. Triadic contrast questions

5. Contrast set sorting questions

6. Twenty questions game

7. Rating questions
2 ask contrastng questions U 1st must knw the discovry princples N meaning & the contrastng questins. Most imprtntly 2 not 4get the componential analysis wich will help find meaning
#JPSpradley #Sect9 #EthnoIntervw
Procedures for discovering the internal structures of a domain. Taxonomic Analysis leads to finding subsets and the relationship among these subsets.
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