Ethnography is a research approach that uses a number of research methods to study holistically the interplay of social structure and culture. A primary ethnographic method is fieldwork, i.e. the direct observation of and participation in social life. However, other qualitative methods and even quantitative methods are used, including interviews, focus groups, surveys, and more.
Ethnography developed as a method of investigation along with the rise of travel and anthropological literature in the nineteenth century. Today it is a widely used research perspective outside of anthropology as well. Practitioners of human geography, sociology, political science and marketing research utilize ethnographic methods in addition to anthropologists.
This project includes background information and orienting exercises for introductory and advanced ethnography learning projects, including Introduction to ethnography, Institutional ethnography, and Virtual ethnography. Texts for ethnography learning projects include Essential Ethnographic Methods by Schensul et al, Mapping Social Relations by Campbell and Gregor, and Viritual Ethnography by Hine.
- Completing an introductory course in Sociology or Anthropology is recommended.
- If you intend to do social research, reviewing one of these free online courses is recommended:
This learning project offers background reading and learnings activities to explore ...
Concepts to learn include: /concepts
Mise-en-scène, or ethnographic production
The uses of anecdote
Each activity has a suggested associated background reading selection.
- Reading 1.
- Activity 1.
- Activity 2.
Additional helpful readings include: