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Ethnography and Autoethnography

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Amanda Hutson

on 5 February 2013

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Transcript of Ethnography and Autoethnography

Amanda Hutson
Victoria Reneau
Texas Christian University Ethnography and Autoethnography What does Ethnography mean? "The word ‘ethnography’ means the way of life of some identifiable group of people. Those people could be any culture-bearing group, in any time or place" (Wolcott, 1997, p. 327).

"The scientific description of nations or races of men, with their customs, habits, and points of difference." – Oxford English Dictionary History of Ethnography Etymology: (from Greek θνο-ς nation + -γραία writing. – Oxford English Dictionary

"Ethnography is an approach to studying people that developed out of anthropology and is used as well in sociology, educational research, and other fields" (Anderson-Levitt, 2006, p.279). What is Ethnography? "The study of people in everyday settings, with particular attention to culture - that is, how people make meaning of their lives" (Anderson-Levitt, 2006, p. 279).

“Ethnography refers both to the research process and to the customary product of that effort – the written ethnographic account" (Wolcott, 1997, p. 328). Ethnography in Context “Ethnographic significance is derived socially not statistically from discerning how ordinary people in their customary go about their everyday lives" (Wolcott, 1997, p. 333). Questions Addressed
by Ethnography “The realistic question for an ethnographically orientated researcher is not “how should this questions be addressed?” but “what contribution, if any, can I make by taking an ethnographic approach to this problem" (Wolcott, 1997, p. 347). What is going on here? Does not answer
the question...

"What should
we be doing?" Data Collection Activities “The more successful fieldworkers resolve the tension between involvement and detachment; others go home early" (Wolcott, 1997, p. 332).

“The ethnographer is the research instrument" (Wolcott, 1997, p. 333). "What an ethnographer looks at and writes about depends on a number of factors: the nature of the problem that sends the researcher into the field in the first place, the ethnographer’s personality, the course of events, during field work the process of sorting, analyzing and writing that transforms the fieldwork experience into the completed account and the expectations for the final account including how and where it is to be circulated and what its intended audience and purposes are" (Wolcott, 1997, p. 332-333). Autoethnography Autoethnography developed out of ethnography.

Autoethnographers must engage in a conversation between their own experiences and the experiences of others in the same community. Examples of Ethnographic Research Example 1: Culture, Scarcity, and Maternal Thinking: Maternal Detachment and Infant Survival in a Brazilian Shantytown by Nancy Scheper-Hughes (on Schoology)

Example 2: Voices From the Garden: A Performance Ethnography by Laurie Thorp (on Schoology) Examples of Autoethnographic Research Example 1: Searching One's Self: The Autoethnography of a Nurse Teacher by Jane Wright (on Schoology)

Example 2: Autoethnography and Women's Self-Esteem: Learning Through a 'Living' Method by Victoria Pruin Defrancisco, Jennifer Kuderer, and April Chatham-Carpenter (on Schoology) Teresa Powers Stephenson

History of Ethnography References Now go read on your own.
There are examples loaded into Schoology for you to read. You have 15 minutes...GO!
How can we use this method of qualitative Research? What did you think? Anderson-Levitt, K. M. (2006). Ethnography. In J. L. Green, G. Camilli, & P. B. Elmore (Eds.), Handbook of Complementary Methods in Education Research (pp. 279-291). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., Publishers.

Denzin, N.K., & Lincoln, Y. S. (Eds.) (2011). The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.

Ely, M., Anzul, M., Friedman, T., Garner, D, & Steinmetz, A. M. (1991). Doing Qualitative Research: Circles Within Circles. Bristol, PA: The Falmer Press.

Hughes, S., Pennington, J. L., & Makris, S. (2012). Translating Autoethnography Across the AERA StandardsL Toward Understanding Autoethnographic Scholarship as Empirical Research. Educational Researcher, 41 (6), 209-219.

Wolcott, H. F. (1988). Ethnographic Research in Education. In R. M. Jaeger (Ed.), Complementary Methods for Research in Education (pp.327-398). Washington, DC: American Educaitonal Research Association. The Future of Ethnography We must strive for a "refunctioned ethnography".

"We must likewise research and make transparent the changes that are overtaking the world, so that we understand the futures we have chosen and are empowered to choose others if we so choose" (Denzin & Lincoln, 2011, p. 718).

Collaborative ethnography is now recognized. Educational Ethnographers Yvonna Lincoln Harry F. Wolcott Franz Boas Questions for
Teresa? Norman Denzin Katheryn M.
Anderson Levitt Ethnography and autoethnography are used
across a range of
different disciplines.

Ethnography and autoethnography data can be represented in different ways (poems, voices, etc.) Tools to Perform
Ethnographic Research Participant observation


Interview It [ethnography] is an inquiry process carried out by human beings and guided by a point of view that derives from experience in the research setting and from the knowledge of prior anthropological research" (Wolcott, 1997, p.333).
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