Ethnography essay

It can be quantitative or qualitative, regardless, typical steps involve: first becoming informed about your topic (you may or may not be familiar with the setting or people in a first hand way), gaining entry into the group of people you want to study (issues of authenticity and authority in conducting ethnographic research), take field notes in regular and systematic ways to accumulate a written record of the observations and/or experiences (see reverse side of this handout for an example).These notes should emphasize concrete, detailed, and textured descriptions that “show” rather than “tell” through opinion. Make connections and abstractions about what you observe through mooing, generate theoretical ideas through indexing, interpret and report findings in an ethnography. Potential problem: Rubbing shoulders with study participants/participant observation”=Danger: “Going native”– Comes from anthropology and sociology.

Immersion vs.. Merging.Balance of “reflexivity’ when understanding that the worlds being studied are meaning systems of relationships. Ethnography is appropriate for providing deep background information for the formation of long term strategic policy (ex. Reproductive rights for mentally disabled persons). Not necessarily appropriate for immediate action.

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It can be great for developing or evaluating Systems or services due TTS emphasis on the user. In many ways, ethnography is similar to what we do when we come home from a long trip. We tell the “stories of travelers.

Ethnography allows us to document the story in a way that hopefully prevents the “fish story’ from growing. The ethnographic report, however, is not just a pile of fieldstone. It is a cleaned manuscript based upon detailed fieldstone, memos, and index cards of themes.

What gets lost in translation? Whose story is really told- the experience of the researcher or the experience of the participant? It depends……

.. Best ethnographic research I ever experienced was not told with written word, but with snapshots at a potluck.Researcher came back from Bali- focused on women’s roles in particular tribal societies in Bali.

“Ethnography’ can appear in the form of movies, paintings, music, and the internet. Google Images Ethnographic Field Notes (observation, interviewing, etc) Impressions/ Intuitions (your impressions here – no where else) Non verbal notes (other behavioral cues) Notes and Direct Quotes (directly related to what is going on in interaction; what people are saying)

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