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Transcript of Ethnography
Main reason to study ethnography
Example of an ethnography
What is ethnography?
A culture sharing group
Shared patterns of behaviour, belief, language
Description of themes and interpretation
Context or Setting
Designing and Doing Ethnography
Different types of ethnography
Example of ethnography
Key people in ethnography
Key characteristics of an Ethnography
Performance ethnography or
History of ethnography
Early Anthropology 1700s
Early 1900s – Malinowski & Mead
1930s and 1940s – the Chicago School
Writing Culture – Two Crises (crises of legitimacy and representation (Savin-Baden & Major, 2013)
Realist ethnography (also called critical realist ethnography) is grounded in the ontological perspective of critical realism
Critical realism entails “the idea that there is an objective reality and so it is possible to know the world as it really is, even if that knowledge is imperfect” (Savin-Baden & Howell Major, 2013, p. 198)
Realist ethnography is utilized to examine the relationship between structure (the rules that govern society) and agency (human action)
(Savin-Baden & Major, 2013, p. 198).
Savin-Baden and Major (2013) write that “this form of ethnography is political, as its focus is on challenging the existing status quo of political, social, and other structures, by researching the struggles of those weak and powerless against them, with the overall aim then of seeking to change society” (p.200)
It is grounded in critical theory – a social theory that focusses on critiquing and changing society for the purpose of liberating individuals from their enslavement.
(Savin-Baden & Major, 2013)
Auto-ethnography constitutes a type of autobiographical narrative whereby the writer explores his or her own experience of life.
In this approach, the researcher/subject look to his/her experience, story, and narrative in order to examine and connect with the social context. (Savin-Baden & Major, 2013)
Duo-ethnography represents an extension of auto-ethnography; both are grounded in the same tradition and utilize the same methods.
Duo-ethnography is rooted in the premise “that more is learned about a situation or context it than by reflecting on it alone” (Savin-Baden & Howell Major, 2013, p. 202).
Similar to auto-ethnography, duo-ethnography explores the effect of structures and forces on the story; thus, there is an effort to comprehend the issues of power and control that impact one’s experience (Savin-Baden & Major, 2013)
Performance ethnography encompasses various performative methods that are utilized by qualitative researchers
-Conquergood initially developed this approach to explore the political nature of practice (Savin-Baden & Major, 2013)
An ethnography based on the work of Hine (2000)
Virtual ethnography takes a sociological lens as it aims to understand people’s activities on the internet (Savin-Baden & Major, 2013)
-Cognitive ethnography examines the cognitive processes that contribute to activities happen online, which are impacted by what occurs offline by such things as world news, as well as social and cultural, social and individual contexts (Savin-Baden & Major, 2013).
In the words of Savin-Baden & Major (2013), “cognitive ethnography seeks to combine science and meaning making within the same approach” (p. 205).
How do students use technology in geography learning?
What socio-economic barriers are faced by adult learners in northern British Columbia?
How do retired teachers continue their lifelong learning?
How does early reading vary among households? What implication does this have in kindergarden?
Advantages & Challenges of ethnography
•The research can provide extensive and in-depth findings about human behaviour
•The study can be longitudinal
•Translating field notes into data suitable for analysis is complex and troublesome
•Ethnography tends to be expensive
(Saven-Baden & Howell Major, 2013)
A cultural theme is a general position, declared or implied that is widely accepted or promoted in society or group (Creswell, 2012)
behaviour - action taken by an individual in a cultural setting
belief - how an individual thinks about or perceives things in a cultural setting
language - how an individual talks to others in a cultural setting (Creswell, 2012)
Emic data - information provided by participants in a study
Etic data - information that represents researcher`s interpretation of the participants' viewpoints
Negotiating data -information that the participant and the researcher agree to use in the study (Creswell, 2012)
Description- is a detailed explanation of the individuals and scenes that present what is going on in the culture-sharing group
thematic data analysis - involves outlining how things work and naming the key features in themes in cultural setting
interpretation - the researcher makes inferences and conclusions about what has been learned (Creswell, 2012)
In ethnography, a culture sharing group is two or more individuals that have shared behaviours, beliefs, and language.
Savin-Baden and Major (2013) describe ethnography as “an approach that requires intensive fieldwork to gain a detailed and comprehensive view of a social group and its setting” (p. 196).
The main attributes of this method are the following:
•Focus on everyday life rather than the unusual or particular
•Immersion of the researcher in a particular field or setting
•Engagement in the setting for an extended period of time
•Use of participant observation as a primary method
•In-depth and unstructured data collection
•Presentation of findings from the participants point of view
(Savin-Baden & Major, 2013, p. 197)
Researchers utilize this method if they wish to study the following:
a larger picture
day-to-day picture of a specific group
everyday lived experience of a specific group
find meaning by exploring cultural noroms (Savin-Baden & Major, 2013)
Context entails the setting, situation, or environment that surrounds the studied cultural group (Creswell, 2012)
According to Creswell (2012), ``reflexivity in ethnography refers to researcher being aware and openly discussing his or her role int he study in away that honors and respects the site and the people`` (p. 474)
Atkinson, P., Coffey, A., & Delamont, S. (2003). Key themes in qualitative research: Continuities and change. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press.
Boas, F. (1887). Museums of ethnology and their classification. Science, 9(228), 587-89.
Boas, F. (1940). Race, language, and culture. Toronto, ON: Collier-Macmillan Canada
Creswell, J. W. (2012). Educational research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research. Toronto: Pearson.
Diamond. T. (2006). "Where did you get the furn coat, fern?" Participant observation in institutional ethnography. In Institutional ethnography as practice (Ed. Smith, D.E.).
Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
LeCompte, M., & Schensul, J. (1999). Analyzing and interpreting ethnographic data. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press.
LeCompte, M., & Schensul, J. (1999). Designing and conducting ethnographic research. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press.
Malinoski, B. (1944). A scientific theory of culture and other essays. New York: Oxford University Press.
Mead, M. (1977). Letters from the field 1925 - 1975. New York: Harper & Row.
Park, R. E. (1921). Introduction to the school of sociology. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press
Savin-Baden, M., & Major, C. H. (2013). Qualitative research: The essentiel guide to theory and practice. New York: Routledge.
Smith, D.E. (2005) Institutional ethnography: a sociology for people. Lanham, MD:
Wolcott, H. (1995). The art of ethnography. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press.
Wolcott, H. (1994). Transforming qualitative data: Description, analysis, and interpretation. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press.
Van Manaan, J. (1988). Tales of the field: On writing ethnography. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press
Institutional ethnography explores the social relations that structure people's everyday lives- ordinary activity becomes the site of an inquiry into social organization.
It was first developed for women, but it now used for research in education, social sciences, human services, and policy to study relations in people's activities in institutions (Smith, 2006)
More contemporary ethnographers
Van Maanen (1988) wrote Tales of the Field - a book about the many forms of ethnography
Wolcott (1999) wrote on the ways of "seeing" ethnography in The art of ethnography
Lecompte and Schensul (1999) wrote about procedures in ethnography in Analyzing and interpreting ethnographic data, and Designing and conducting ethnographic research
Atkinson, Coffee, and Dalamont (2003) wrote about the practices of ethnography
Dorothy Smith -a Canadian who developed methodology and methods for institutional ethnography for women
Philosophical and personal positioning
Focus of the study
Working with data and findings
Writing (Savin-Baden & Major, 2013)
Overview of the choice researchers who use ethnography make:
History of ethnography