Ethnography

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Providing
 insight
 on
 the
 relationships
 between
 the
 contexts
 and
 processes
 of
 human
 social
 life,
 and
 the
 ʺmeaningʺ
 that
 humans
 attach
 to
 social
 and
 physical
 phenomena
 (Denzin
 1970:30‐31).

the
 complexity
 of 
the
 human
circumstances

while
 the
 predominant
 methods
 paradigm
 of
 ethnography
 is
 qualitative,
 ethnography
 is 
more
 than
 simply
 a
 qualitative
r esearch
 method.



Denzin,
N.K.
1970).
The
 Research 
Act
.

Denzin,
 N.K.
 and
 Y.S.
 Lincoln
 (1994),
 “Introduction:
 Entering
 the
 Field
 of
 Qualitative
 Research”
 in
 Handbook
 of
 Qualitative
 Research.
 Denzin
 and
 Lincoln
 (eds.)
 Thousand
 Oaks,
 CA,
 Sage
 Publications:



the
 strengths
 or
 attributes
 of 
ethnography: 


  • (1) includes
 both
 qualitative
 and
 quantitative 
methods,
 and
 both
 classical
and


non‐classical
 ethnographic 
approaches.


 


  • (2) 
is
 more 
than
 simply
 methods, 
but
 has
 ontological 
and
 epistemological
 properties.



  • (3) 
is
 a 
holistic
 approach
 to
 the
 study
 of 
cultural 
systems.


  • (4) is 
the
 study
 of 
the 
socio‐cultural
 contexts,
 processes,
 and
 meanings 
within


cultural
 systems. 
 


  • (5) is 
the 
study 
of 
cultural
 systems 
from
 both
 emic
 and 
etic 
perspectives.
 

  • (6) is 
greatly 
dependent
 on 
field work.




  • (7) 
is 
a
 process
 of 
discovery, 
making
 inferences, 
and 
continuing 
inquiries
 in 
an
 attempt
 to 
achieve
 emic 
validity.



  • (8) 
is 
an
 iterative
 process
 of 
learning
 episodes.



  • (9) is 
an 
open‐ended
 emergent 
learning
 process,
 and 
not 
a 
rigid
 investigator


controlled 
experiment.
 


  • (10) 
is 
a
 highly 
flexible 
and 
creative 1 
process.


  • (11) is 
an
 interpretive, 
reflexive, 
and 
constructivist 
process.



  • (12) 
requires 
the 
daily 
and 
continuous
 recording
 of
 field notes.





  • (13) may
 be
 carried
 out
 by
 individual
 investigators,
 or
 by
 teams
 of
 investigators.


  • (14) presents
 the
 world
 of
 its
 host
 population
 in
 human
 contexts
 of
 thickly
 described
 case
 studies.