How to conduct Ethnography research

Ethnography is all about study of culture and its effects. It involves observing a specific group of people from close quarters, their behavior and characteristics and then drawing conclusions. It is a subject of research in Political, Social and Humanities sciences.

Ethnography research consists of many facets. It is mainly a subjective and qualitative type of research. It is qualitative, because you are not interested in statistical data or figures; you are more interested in the depth of understanding of a single thing and the group under scrutiny could be a small one. Moreover, it is subjective, because the analysis is more of the descriptive kind. The interpretation of the culture of the ethnic group could be biased and depends a lot on the researchers and where they are coming from.

Thus primary research methods consists of interviews, observations and studying of cultural artifacts. The questions typically asked by ethnographers are different from what the media asks. The interviews are held for longer durations at the convenience of the subject. Open ended questions are asked so that replies will be in the form of descriptions which can lead on to some more questioning. If information you don’t expect comes through it makes the study all the more interesting. While observing ethnic groups for traits, following some norms will need to be followed. The subject should know that you are observing them but a distance should be kept from them as far as possible. Make notes, record events and all kinds of interactions you have with them. Studying and analyzing cultural artifacts gives a lot of information on the history and happenings of the specific culture.

There are secondary methods of research too. Here you interact with people and things associated with the specific culture and seek information.

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