What is Ethnography?
Context : What is Ethnography?
We're often asked the question: "What, exactly, is ethnography?" The
term has taken on many different meanings over the past few years.
However, we're partial to its original meaning:
Very simply, ethnography is the research approach used by cultural anthropologists
when studying groups of people. It involves four key tenets:
Ethnographers use many different research methods to gain insight
into people, but always come back to these four core ideas.
- Participant Observation. Ethnographers spend
time with people as they go about their daily lives, learning
how they live by actually doing what they do.
- Natural Setting. Ethnography is conducted in the space where
participants actually live, work and play, not in a separate
- In Their Own Words. Ethnography research findings are delivered
in the words of the participants, using their language and
- Holism. People's actions and thoughts are influenced, directly
or indirectly, by absolutely everything in their lives. Ethnographers
stay open to all potential connections.