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Digital tools and modes of presentation extend these threads and enable still other possibilities for students in the course to explore.

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One work site will be the Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography. Students will have the option to write a paper made up of a series of ethnographic sketches based on their own research material.


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In advance of the course, students should closely read at least three ethnographic monographs, and the articles and project descriptions listed below. This session will focus on ways ethnographers can leverage their own histories and subject positions as method. This session will explore how digital structures implicate ethnographic practice, knowledge production and expression. This session will explore tactics for ethnographic observation that are open yet analytic and oriented by research questions.

Doing laboratory ethnography: reflections on method in scientific workplaces

This session will focus on how and why ethnography should be intricately temporalized, and on ways ethnographic projects can be designed to move from empirical engagements to theory and back. This session focuses on debates about open research data, examining technical, political and methodological implications, especially for ethnographers.

This session will focus on ways ethnographic data management can be creative, stimulating new ways of thinking about data collection, analysis, preservation and discoverability. This session will explore how the genre of the research proposal works, and can be designed for experimental ends. Additionally, due to the intimate nature of the research, there is the potential for ethical and interpersonal issues and conflicts to arise.

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Finally, the storytelling nature of an ethnography can seem to bias the interpretation of the data. Share Flipboard Email.

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Updated April 22, Key Takeaways: Ethnography Ethnography refers to the practice of conducting a long-term, detailed study of a community. A written report based on this type of detailed observation of a community is also referred to as an ethnography. Conducting an ethnography allows researchers to obtain a great detail of information about the group they are studying; however, this research method is also time- and labor-intensive.

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Ethnography in Social Science Practice : Julie Scott-Jones :

But simultaneously, early sociologists in the U. Since then, ethnography has been a staple of sociological research methods , and many sociologists have contributed to developing the method and formalizing it in books that offer methodological instruction. The goal of an ethnographer is to develop a rich understanding of how and why people think, behave, and interact as they do in a given community or organization the field of study , and most importantly, to understand these things from the standpoint of those studied known as an "emic perspective" or "insider standpoint".

itmf - News ethnography in practice: fieldwork and analysis

Thus, the goal of ethnography is not just to develop an understanding of practices and interactions, but also what those things mean to the population studied. Importantly, the ethnographer also works to situate what they find in historical and local context, and to identify the connections between their findings and the larger social forces and structures of society. Any field site can serve as a setting for ethnographic research.

For example, sociologists have conducted this kind of research in schools, churches, rural and urban communities, around particular street corners, within corporations, and even at bars, drag clubs, and strip clubs.

Ethnography in Social Science Practice

To conduct ethnographic research and produce an ethnography, researchers typically embed themselves in their chosen field site over a long period of time. They do this so that they can develop a robust dataset composed of systematic observations, interviews , and historical and investigative research, which requires repeated, careful observations of the same people and settings. Anthropologist Clifford Geertz referred to this process as generating "thick description," which means a description that digs below the surface by asking questions that begin with the following: who, what, where, when, and how.

From a methodological standpoint, one of the important goals of an ethnographer is to have as little impact on the field site and people studied as possible, so as to collect data that is as unbiased as possible.