Essay on Ethnography

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1458 Words
Date:  2022-05-23


Ethnography involves the study of a group that shares societal practices at a solitary site. The researchers identify one site and locate a group among the members of the group. For example, a site can be a classroom while the group might be a reading group. Examining the group for various characteristics then follows the previous step of group identification. From the description, ethnography studies groups while other methods of qualitative research such as narrative research concentrate on individuals and as such, the differences. Groups under assessment in ethnography consist of individuals who have common characteristic behaviors, beliefs, and language. Goodman and Adler (as cited in Creswell, 2015) give an example of a culture-sharing group as one that contains sixteen elementary education student teachers.

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The participants in the groups interact on regular basis for example; the members meet almost three times to review reading. The groups under study have had interactions over a certain period, for instance, the group has met over the past months since September for reading discussions. The fraction of the individuals under study forms a representation of the larger group. In the example of the reading group, the group forms part of third-grade readers (Creswell, 2015). Lastly, the groups under research share various characteristics of behavior and talking. Some similarity in characteristics of individuals in a reading class can include the culture of reading while seated on the floor and waiting for the teacher's permission to speak.


In ethnography, researchers stay with the participants during data collection. Unlike in other qualitative research designs, ethnography cannot gather statistics effectively using questionnaires and short meetings with the participants and such, fieldwork is the appropriate scheme. There are various techniques that ethnographers adopt during facts collection.

Data collection methods by ethnographers may include a casual conversation with the participants. The researcher may also decide to use a structured interview or semi-structured interview. Survey and census on the household can additionally be appropriate methods of acquiring statistics. Moreover, observations and use of audio-visual elements can be essential during the study.

Description, Themes, and Interpretation

Ethnographic research involves the description and analysis of the groups that share a certain culture. Researchers in ethnographic studies also analyze the patterns that they observe during their works. In the explanations, ethnographers reveal what happens in a culture-sharing group. The properties in the report are thick and specific. The studies render the details of the events, activities, and places from a general perspective as it moves towards more specific aspects. Data analysis during the research processes involves factoring out the events and labeling the significant things from the themes in the culture. For instance, Malloy and McMurray (as cited in Creswell, 2015) discuss the study by an ethnographer on conflict resolution between typically growing children and those with disorders in a preschool, there are numerous disputes that associate with the objectives oppositions, results and the functions and the teacher's duties. Ethnography, moreover, involves interpretation of the data in which inferences and conclusions result. More questions can also emerge from the data of the fieldwork at this stage.

Context or Setting

During ethnographic studies, the researcher needs to avail the description and interpretations of the data from the field which relevant and corresponds to the context and the environment of the culture sharing group. According to Fetterman (as cited in Creswell, 2015) suggests that the relevance of the study revolves around the history, religion, politics, and economy. There are various settings that a researcher needs to consider, for example, a Physical site such as a school description, the history of the participants in the group or the social status of the people such as the professions and their earnings.

Researcher Reflexivity

Ethnographic studies are reflexive such that the write openly illustrates the findings in a manner that portrays respect to the site under study and the participants. The conclusions need not be tentative or inconclusive which can possibly generate new queries about the results. The researchers talk about themselves and sharing their involvements. From experience Finders (as cited in Creswell, 2015) gives an instance of a researcher studying identity progress of teenage females using magazines stated her task as below:

I did not want to be viewed as a teacher or someone in authority.

Shared Patterns of Behavior, Belief, and Language

Ethnography entails the study of common characteristics of behavior, belief, and language among the members of a group over a certain period. The cultural practices that the groups share help the researcher to identify the questions to answer during the research process. For instance, researchers may need to determine the duration that is appropriate for a group staying together to adopt similar cultural qualities. Despite the fact that staying together for long facilitates the sharing of beliefs and behavior, Lecompte, and Schensul (as cited in Creswell, 2015) states that there are some situations in which individuals share quickly and as such, researchers obtain data easily. For example, school boards can promote common behavior by using retreats which enhances assessment by the ethnographers.

Quality is an essential aspect of any research work. Various forms of research adopt certain criteria that researchers use in measuring and distinguishing high quality and low-quality studies. In ethnography, the techniques for quality evaluation commences with the use of the standards that are applicable in qualitative research. The aim of the essay is to discuss the considerations that ethnographers adopt to ensure efficiency in their results. The essay in this section intends to describe the key elements that help one to categorize the studies which are of high quality and the results which are of low quality.

The first criteria that can help individuals to assess the value of an ethnographic study are the ability of a researcher to select beliefs sharing group or a situation for study. To ensure quality examination results, the individual need to appropriately select the culture -sharing group during the survey. The researcher needs also to identify the relevance of the culture sharing group in the studies to ensure great quality (Creswell, 2015). In low-value studies, the indicators are that the examiner fails to appropriately recognize the culture-sharing group. The ethnography also fails to reveal the cluster under examination leaving the learner to guess for them.

Obtaining the knowledge and understanding the cultural concept of the group under study is also essential in indicating the quality of an examination. The knowledge of the culture sharing clusters enables one to know how the individuals in the groups function. Ethnographers in great quality studies use works of literature on culture and pick certain concepts to concentrate on in their efforts to understand the working of the culture-sharing gathering. While ethnographers that produce high-value outcomes use one or two concepts of focus, low standard research work engages numerous diverse ideas to undergo exploration (Creswell, 2015). Low excellence ethnography may even fail to identify a concept for cultural investigation.

During the ethnographic processes, the researchers attempt to learn how the culture-sharing groups enhance their nature of the conduct, language, and beliefs over a period. To ensure higher quality during ethnography, the investigators spend more time in the field and gather data about the culture-sharing clusters over a period of about 6 months and more (Creswell, 2015). The long-time data collections facilitate effective information and knowledge about the behaviors, languages, and beliefs of the people. Poor features of investigation occur when the ethnographer takes less time in the fields during collection of data. Spending little time during fieldwork limits the details about the languages and beliefs of the culture-sharing group essential during ethnography.

The variety of sources that a researcher uses during the study determines the quality of the ethnographic results. As such, for higher value work, the ethnographer carries out various visits to in the field to gather numerous forms of data. The examiner applies various methods such as interviews, writing notes during observations, and taking notes as records for the documents they gather from the survey. Limiting the process of collecting data to one type of method leads to in low-status work. Staying on the field for limited period prohibits high-value outcomes.

The quality of ethnography depends on the activities that researchers undertake in relation to the description, development of themes and the interpretation of the functioning of the culture-sharing groups. To ensure high standard results, the ethnographer depicts the operation of the culture sharing clusters. The researcher also identifies several themes that describe the sets. To further improve the quality, the examiners interpret how the assemblages operate (Creswell, 2015). Ethnography with lower excellence emanates when the investigators fail to describe the groups before the analysis stage. There is also the failure for the studies to reveal the setup of the culture sharing gatherings.

Moreover, during interpretation and presentation of study results, the role of the exami...

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