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How To Do Ethnography and Field Research
 

How To Do Ethnography and Field Research

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The lecture on ethnography. I do have audio but am trying to find a spot to upload it.

The lecture on ethnography. I do have audio but am trying to find a spot to upload it.

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    How To Do Ethnography and Field Research How To Do Ethnography and Field Research Presentation Transcript

    • Participant Observation and Field Research
    • Key themes
      What is ethnography?
      Access
      Types of sites
      Key informants
      What role to play?
      How to do it
      New types of ethnography
    • What is ethnography?
      A method, a product
      Immersive
      Extended period of time
      Often focused on a particular culture
    • What is Ethnography?
      • What is ethnography?
      • Ethnographic skills
      Interviewing
      Observing
      • Types of observations
      Overt vs. covert
      Ethical issues
      • Corporate ethnography case studies
      Nokia
      Novo Nordisk
      Intel
      Prada
      Famous Ethnographies
    • Observing
      Ethnographic skill No. 1
      Denver, CO: Scooters in local supermarket: represents shoppers’ need to avoid walking while shopping
      Toronto, Ontario: Intentional manipulation of corporate logo: symbolizes resistance.
    • Interviewing
      Ethnographic Skill No. 2
      Or in a “foreign” culture
      Can happen in a workplace “culture”
    • Overt versus covert
      Types of observation
      Overt
      Covert
      Ethnographer informs participants of their study and is transparent about research.
      Ethnography does not inform participants of the study and must balance ethical issue of deception.
    • Ethical implications
      Informed consent
      Protection of privacy
      Harm to participants
      Deception
    • Great ethnographies
      Crestwood Heights, John Seeley: classic study of what is now known to be Toronto’s Forest Hill neighbourhood
      All of Our Kin: Carol Stack’s nuanced study of African American women’s intertwined lives
      Street Corner Society: William Foote Whyte’s “Chicago school” of urban ethnography
      Learning to Labour: Paul Willis’s study of working class British boys becoming working class men
    • Gaining access to closed sites
      Open
      Communities
      Malls
      Raves
      Closed
      Firms
      Schools
      Hospitals
      Need permission and introductions from a gatekeeper
      No permission required, but must be accepted by the group. Go through gatekeepers.
    • Case studies
      Corporate Ethnography
      Researched how consumers in developing countries deal with diabetes. Uncovered unmet needs in diabetes treatment
      Ethnography in Asia and Africa lead to “image only” cell phone design with long battery life
      Employs 24 full-time ethnographers to research computer use in the home, at work, and in the mobile space
    • Case Study: Prada shopping
      Corporate Ethnography
      Embedded RFID tags in clothes so shoppers can easily find complete outfits
      Created frosted glass doors for changing rooms that turn to windows at the touch of a button
      Mirrors have a 5-second delay allowing shoppers to see the view from behind
    • Open
      Closed
      Communities
      Malls
      Raves
      • Firms
      • Schools
      • Cults
      • Social Movements
    • Getting Access to Open Settings
      ----- ---- !
      Hey! Do you think I can hang out with you and your friends?
      Well sure…c’mon in.
      ---.
      ---? ---
    • Getting Access to Closed Settings
      ----- ---- !
      Well let’s see if our manager says it’s OK.
      I’d really love to share my findings with you.
      ---.
      ---? ---
    • Ongoing Access Problems
      I’m pretty sure she’s “in” with the boss.
      Well I’m not telling her anything!
      Well let’s see if our manager says it’s OK.
      I’d really love to share my findings with you.
    • Key Informants: Potential Pitfalls
      You often hear only the key informants’ point of view.
      Oh, they’re just happy to be at work!
      I’m not really sure what they’re talking about.
      ---? ---
      ----- ---- !
    • Field Research Spectrum
    • How To Do Ethnography
    • Problems in Ethnography
      “Going native” is identifying with your participants and ceasing to be a “researcher.”
      Oh I know! I cannot believe what they’re doing at head office!
      Hey, how’s your ethnography going?
      Oh! Sorry?
    • Oh yeah, I can tell you all about their experiences.
      Hmm. I’m not so sure
      Institutional Ethnography
      Canadian content!
    • Oh yeah, I can tell you all about their experiences.
      Hmm. I’m not so sure
      Institutional Ethnography
      Canadian content!
      “Ethnography may start by exploring the experience of those directly involved in the institutional setting, but they are not the object of investigation. It is the aspects of the institutions relevant to the people's experience, not the people themselves, that constitute the inquiry”
      Smith, Dorothy. 2005. Institutional Ethnography: A Sociology for People. New York: Altamira.
    • Visual Ethnography
      Documenting participants’ lives using photography or video.
    • Visual Ethnography II
    • Virtual Ethnography
      Participate virtually in an online “place.” SeeHine, Christine. 2000. Virtual Ethnography. London: Sage.