What is Ethnographic Research? According to Spradley, "rather than studying people, enthnography means learning from people." Ethnographic research has broad implications for many fields.
Ethnographic research uses participant observation as a tool for gathering information and is a form of what is termed qualitative research in contrast to quantitative research which focuses on measurement and formal analysis.
As participant observer, the researcher ethnographic research becomes actively immersed in the chosen setting in order to gain understanding through experiencing aspects of the life of an individual or group.
Ethnographic research is the foundation of anthropology, which has been principally concerned with the descriptive recording and analysis of the group life of traditional, generally pre-literate, societies.
Ethnographic research is also central to symbolic interactionism, phenomenological sociology, labeling theory and ethnomethodology, where the goal is to comprehend the subjective perspectives of individuals.
Ethnographic research is linked to a reaction to positivism which distrusts subjectivity in research and attempts to treat human subjects as an object that can be scientifically investigated.
Ethnography is the study of people in their own
environment through the use of methods such as participant observation and face-to-face
interviewing. Anthropologists, ethnographers, and other social scientists engage in