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Ethnography

Presented by:
Dr.C.SUSILA
PRINCIPAL
BILLROTH COLLEGE OF NURSING
CHENNAI

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What is ethnography?

Research
can mean so
many
things

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What is ethnography?
The qualitative research methodology
known as 'Ethnography' is built upon
the social science specialism known as
'Anthropology

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What is ethnography?
Definition
Ethnography is a description and interpretation of a
cultural or social group or system, and the
ethnographic researcher examines the group's:
behaviour, customs and way of life.

The researcher also studies the:


• meanings of behaviour
• meanings of language
• interactions of the culture-sharing
group.
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What is ethnography?
What is Ethnography?
Ethnography is observing behavior in natural
settings

Usography
(www.usography.com)
Observation is Powerful!

"Iwas walking one day. I see a guy with … his pants on the
ground. That's what gave me an inspiration.” General Larry Platt

Usography
(www.usography.com)
What is Ethnogr
Observation is
Powerful! aphy?

1)Observation:
Pants on the ground
2)Dig deeper:
Gold in your mouth, hat turned
sideways
3)Add perspective: Call
yourself a cool cat Looking like
a fool
4)Packaging and
presentation: Song, American
Idol 7

Usography
(www.usography.com)
WhAnthropological method for describing cultures
y?
➔ Ethnography literally means “writing about people
groups”

➔ Formulated in the 1800’s as a method for studying


“native” cultures

8 Bronislaw Malinowski with Trobriand Islanders in


1918
Anthropological method for describing
cultures
What is Ethnography?
➔ Applied to Market Research in the 1980’s

➔ Research conducted in a natural context: i.e. in the


home, in a store, in an airport, in a work place

Usography
(www.usography.com)
Ethnography aims for their
categories

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What is ethnography?
Aim of ethnographic research

 It involves the description and the interpretation of cultural


behaviour.

 The aim of the ethnographic researcher is to learn from


(rather than study) members of a cultural group.

 The intention of the ethnographic researcher in relation to


the members of a particular cultural group is to understand
their world view as they define it.

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Becoming a Skilled Cultural Learner:
A Bridge into your Host Culture

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We navigate cities of relationships
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You CAN learn your way around
culture and be comfortable there

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You can learn to love
people in ways they
recognize

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With the learner’s
attitude, anyone can
build relationships of
trust and
understanding

Cultural Helpers
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ADVANTAGES ASSOCIATED WITH
ETHNOGRAPHIC RESEARCH
 Direct observation
 Links with theory
 Detailed data
 Holistic
 Validity
 Contrast & Comparison
 Self-awareness
 Ecological

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Methodological principles of ethanography

 NATURALISM
 UNDERSTANDING
 DISCOVERY

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TYPES OF ETHNOGRAPHIC DESIGNS
Realist Ethnographies
•Realist ethnography is a popular approach used by
cultural anthropologists.
•typically written in the third person point of view,
reporting objectively on the information learned from
participants at a field site.

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What isEthnographic Research project examples:
National mobile carrier

➔ Location: Mobility retail outlets


➔ Target: How people shop for cell phones and carriers

Women’s clothing retailer


➔ Location: Department stores
➔ Target: How women shop for clothing

Financial services provider


➔ Location: In homes
➔ Target:
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How people manage their finances
TYPES OF ETHNOGRAPHIC DESIGNS
Case Studies
•Case study researchers may focus on a program, event, or
activity involving individuals rather than a group.(Stake,
1995).
•instead they focus on an in-depth exploration of a bounded
system (activity, event, process, or individuals) based on
extensive data collection (Creswell,1998)

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TYPES OF ETHNOGRAPHIC DESIGNS
Critical Ethnographies

(Carspecken, 1995; Carspecken & Apple, 1992; Thomas,


1993) to include an advocacy perspective to ethnography.
Critical ethnographies are a type of ethnographic research
in which the author is interested in advocating for the
emancipation of groups marginalized in our society
(Thomas, 1993).
Critical researchers are typically politically minded
individuals who seek , through research, to advocate against
inequality and domination (Carspecken & Apple, 1992).

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The major components of a critical ethnography are the:
Critical ethnographers speak to an audience on behalf of
their participants as a means of empowering participants by
giving them more authority.
Critical ethnographers seek to change the society.
Politicians = election survey or canvasing

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 CHARACTERISTIC OF ETHNOGRAPHIC RESEARCH

 CONTEXTUAL
 The research is carried out in the context in which
the subjects normally live and work

 UNOBTRUSIVE
 The research avoids manipulating the phenomena
under investigation.

 LONGITUDINAL
 The research is relatively long.
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 CHARACTERISTICS OF ETHNOGRAPHIC RESEARCH

 COLLABORATIVE
 The research involves the participation of stakeholders
other than the researcher.

 INTERPRETATIVE
 The researcher carries out interpretative analyses of the
data.

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KEY CHARACTERISTICS OF AN ETHNOGRAPHIC DESIGN

Cultural Themes
A Culture-Sharing Group
Shared patterns of behavior, belief , and
language
Fieldwork
Description, themes, and interpretation
Context or Setting
Researcher Reflexivity

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The Ethnographic Process

1. Make observations
2. Find people to talk to
3. Start conversations
4. Build rapport / trust
5. Ask questions
6. Write things down
7. Pool what you learn
8. Respond to what you learn
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Methodology

Step 1: Preparation

Step 2: Field Study

Step 3: Analysis

Step 4: Reporting

Free Powerpoint Templates


Page 28
Step 1: Preparation
• Familiarize yourself with:
–Organization policies
–Work culture
–Current System & its history
• Identify the Focus of the Study
–Set initial goals and prepare
questions.
–Can be guided by designer goals
• Gain access and permission
• Gate-keepers vs. Sponsors

Free (Rose
Powerpoint Templates
et al., 1995) Page 29
Get in
the
game

Participant observation 30
Others will receive you as you
show you want to relate to them

Participant observation
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Every
society has
layers and
boundaries

Social Stratification
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We want to know which
boundaries are the most
meaningful.

Social Stratification
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Social Stratification

Identity

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People are
tied together
in
relationships

Social Structure
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This culture under
construction

Social dynamics
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Step 2: Field Study
Establish rapport with managers and users.
Record everything:
your visits, observations, impressions, feelings, emerging
questions, etc. Be Meticulous!!!

Field notes, audio, or video


recording.

Free (Rose
Powerpoint Templates
et al., 1995) Page 37
Methods of ethnographic study
1.On-Site Depth Interviews:

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Methods of ethnographic study
 Non-Interactive Observations:

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Methods of ethnographic study
3.story telling:
4. snapshots of people’s lives and relationships,
 photographs, maps, figures, tables, texts, audio and video
records, and transcriptions.
to the study of some sub-cultures and institutions, such as -
drug users, sex workers and the police,.
5. Document analysis,
Research diaries and life stories

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Supplemental research methods
include
Data Collection Methods
➔Context mapping
➔ Participant diaries, collages, or photo journals
➔ Shop along with them
➔ Digital Ethnography (…Webnography?)

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Usography
(www.usography.com)
Get invited in

Cultural Helpers
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Start a conversation

Cultural Helpers
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Ask questions (and listen aggressively)
Cultural Helpers
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Direction and detours

 watching what happens


 listening to what is said
 asking questions through
informal and formal
interviews
 collecting documents and
artifacts

Cultural Helpers
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Descriptive (open-ended)
questions are a good place to
start

Tell me about…

Can you help me understand


more about
Can you share with me when

Asking Questions
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Using different kinds of questions
helps you gain a broad perspective

Structural
I’ve heard… you mentioned… are there others?

Contrast
What are the differences between…?

Folk tales, stories, jokes, songs, proverbs, life


histories, etc.
Asking Questions
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Recording information helps you to
process what you are learning

Taking Notes 48
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Data Collection Methods
Ethnography produces a feast of rich data

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Step 3: Analysis
• Compile data into databases:
–Numerical
–Textual
–Multimedia
• Quantify data and compile
statistics.
• Reduce and Interpret Data.
• Review and Redevelop Ideas.

Free (Rose
Powerpoint Templates
et al., 1995) Page 51
Work
together to
interpret
your
findings

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Interpreting Findings
Step 4: Reporting
• Consider multiple
audiences and
respective goals.
• Prepare a report and
present the findings.
• Have debriefing
meetings

Free (Rose
Powerpoint Templates
et al., 1995) Page 53
Visuals can be important in supporting
written text
Photo: L.Manderson

Free Powerpoint Templates


Page 54
Ethnographic Report
– Purpose Statement
– Executive Summary
– Main Body
– Future Research
– Appendix
– Debriefing

Free Powerpoint
(Randall/Rouncefield, Templates
CSCW 1996
Tutorial) Page 16 55
Writing the Ethnography
. The ethnography should be written so that the
culture or group is brought to life, making readers
feel they understand the people and their
way of life.
The ethnographic report can range in length from
several pages to a volume or two. You can greatly
simplify this task by beginning the writing early as
data accumulate instead waiting until the end.
The writing task will also be easier if, before writing,
you read other well-written ethnographies.

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The Ethnography in
Speaking

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Speech is used in different
ways among different
groups of people. Each
group has its own norms of
linguistic behavior.

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Group A

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Group A
• According to Marshall, speech
among the particular group of
people helps to maintain peaceful
social relationships by allowing
people to keep in touch with one
another about how they are
thinking and feeling.
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Group B

They are silent on ‘meeting strangers


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Group B
• Fox (1974) has described how the Roti
consider talk is one of the great
pleasures of life - not just chatter, but
disputing, arguing, showing off various
verbal skills, and, in general, indulging
in verbal activity.'

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Group C

indulging in verbal activity.'


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• Silence is interpreted as a sign of
some kind of distress, possibly
confusion or dejection. So social
encounters are talk-filled.

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Group D
Reisman (1974)
• In Antigua, people speak because they
must assert themselves through
language. They do not consider as
interruptions behavior that we would
consider being either interruptive or
even disruptive.

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interruptive or even disruptive 66
Group E
Frake (1964)
• Subanun of the Philippines, who
employ certain kinds of speech in
drinking encounters. Such encounters
are very important for gaining prestige
for resolving disputes.

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Group E

Drinking encounters
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Group E
• Frake (1964) has described how to talk,
what he calls ‘drinking talk’, proceeds in
such encounters, from the initial
invitation to partake of drink, to the
selection of proper topics for discussion
as drinking proceeds competitively, and
finally to displays of verbal art that
accompany heavy, ‘successful’ drinking.

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Dos & Don’ts
Don’t
Ask simple Yes/No Do
• questions  Ask open-ended
questions
Ask leading
 Phrase questions
questions properly to avoid
Use unfamiliar bias
jargon  Speak their
language
Lead/guide the
 Let user notice
‘user’
things on his/her
own
Free Powerpoint Templates
(Nielsen, 2002) Page 17 70
The New ‘Ethnographic’ Methods
‘Shadowing’
‘Day-in-the-Life Studies’ ‘Ethnography Lite’
‘Consumer Ethnography’ ‘Field Observation’
‘Contextual Inquiry’ ‘Contextual Research’
‘New Product Ethnography’ (Cagan and Vogel)
‘Observational Research’ (Abrams)

Free Powerpoint Templates


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A list of ethnographic topics and titles
 A study of homeless people in the local area
 Career choices of people with higher Iqs
 Parenting practices in Finland
 Children of wealthy parents in the education system
 A look at the lives of people in a local retirement home
 How recovering alcoholics resist or give into temptation

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How to do ethnographic study?

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 GO AND DO IT THERE

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OTHER REFERENCES

(1)http://my.ilstu.edu/~jrbaldw/372/Ethnography.html

(2)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dell_Hymes

(3)http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-
ethnomethodology.htm

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Thank you!
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