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Introduction to Ethnography Paul Lynch Department of Management University of Strathclyde
Definition <ul><li>The study of people  </li></ul><ul><li>in cultures; also the </li></ul><ul><li>text that is written </l...
Culture <ul><li>An invisible web of behaviors, patterns,  </li></ul><ul><li>rules, and rituals of a group of people  </li>...
Hortense Powdermaker
William Whyte
Fieldworking
Sub-cultures <ul><li>Computer interest groups </li></ul><ul><li>Online discussion groups </li></ul><ul><li>Listservs </li>...
Research Methods <ul><li>Participant observation </li></ul><ul><li>Observation </li></ul><ul><li>Library and archival rese...
Naturally Occurring Data <ul><li>Allows investigation of the phenomena in their natural setting </li></ul><ul><li>Provide ...
“ There’s a hair on my plate. Should I mention it?” <ul><li>Detachment </li></ul><ul><li>Subjectivity </li></ul><ul><li>In...
Naturally Occurring Data Issues and Challenges <ul><li>Access to the natural setting & ‘fitting in’ </li></ul><ul><li>Avoi...
Reflexivity <ul><li>Who am I? </li></ul><ul><li>Politics of identity? </li></ul><ul><li>Values? </li></ul><ul><li>Assumpti...
Generated Data <ul><li>Involves reconstruction  </li></ul><ul><li>Requires re-processing & retelling of attitudes, beliefs...
Generated Data Issues and Challenges <ul><li>Accessibility to research participants that meet sample criteria </li></ul><u...
Data Analysis <ul><li>Analysis is open to emergent concepts & ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple readings - immersion </li><...
Writing Up <ul><li>Outputs: focus on the interpretation of social meaning through mapping & re-presenting the social world...
Key Elements <ul><li>Purposive selection </li></ul><ul><li>How do you know what is important to study? </li></ul><ul><li>A...
References <ul><li>Bishop, W. (2011) Ethnographic Writing Research: Writing it Down, Writing it Up, and Reading it, Heinem...
<ul><li>Geertz, C. (1973) The Interpretation of  Cultures  ,  Basic Books, New York. </li></ul><ul><li>Hammersley, M. and ...
<ul><li>Sunstein, B. and Chiseri-Strater, E. (2007) FieldWorking: Reading and Writing Research, Bedford/St Martin’s, Bosto...
 
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DREaM Event 2: Paul Lynch

Slides to accompany Dr Paul Lynch's workshop session "An introduction to ethnography" presented at DREaM Event 2.

For more information about this event, please visit http://lisresearch.org/dream-project/dream-event-2-workshop-tuesday-25-october-2011/

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DREaM Event 2: Paul Lynch

  1. 1. Introduction to Ethnography Paul Lynch Department of Management University of Strathclyde
  2. 2. Definition <ul><li>The study of people </li></ul><ul><li>in cultures; also the </li></ul><ul><li>text that is written </li></ul><ul><li>based on that study </li></ul><ul><li>( Sunstein and Chiseri-Strater, 2007) </li></ul>
  3. 3. Culture <ul><li>An invisible web of behaviors, patterns, </li></ul><ul><li>rules, and rituals of a group of people </li></ul><ul><li>who have contact with one another and </li></ul><ul><li>share common languages </li></ul><ul><li>(Sunstein and Chiseri-Strater, 2007: 3) </li></ul>
  4. 4. Hortense Powdermaker
  5. 5. William Whyte
  6. 6. Fieldworking
  7. 7. Sub-cultures <ul><li>Computer interest groups </li></ul><ul><li>Online discussion groups </li></ul><ul><li>Listservs </li></ul><ul><li>Library user groups </li></ul><ul><li>Volleyball teams </li></ul><ul><li>Dogwalkers </li></ul><ul><li>DREaM workshop participants </li></ul><ul><li>Group characteristics </li></ul><ul><li>Rituals </li></ul><ul><li>Insider phrases </li></ul><ul><li>Behaviours </li></ul>
  8. 8. Research Methods <ul><li>Participant observation </li></ul><ul><li>Observation </li></ul><ul><li>Library and archival research </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural artefacts </li></ul><ul><li>Fieldnotes </li></ul><ul><li>Interviews and transcripts </li></ul><ul><li>Reflective memos </li></ul><ul><li>Freewriting </li></ul><ul><li>Photographs </li></ul>
  9. 9. Naturally Occurring Data <ul><li>Allows investigation of the phenomena in their natural setting </li></ul><ul><li>Provide data which is an ‘enactment’ of social behaviour in its own social setting </li></ul><ul><li>Of value where behaviours & interactions need to be understood in ‘real’ world contexts </li></ul>
  10. 10. “ There’s a hair on my plate. Should I mention it?” <ul><li>Detachment </li></ul><ul><li>Subjectivity </li></ul><ul><li>Insider </li></ul><ul><li>Involvement </li></ul><ul><li>Objectivity </li></ul><ul><li>Outsider </li></ul>DREaM project launch conference  British Library Conference Centre 19th July 2011
  11. 11. Naturally Occurring Data Issues and Challenges <ul><li>Access to the natural setting & ‘fitting in’ </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid contamination of the social setting </li></ul><ul><li>Researcher’s bias in interpretation </li></ul><ul><li>Need to surface social politics of the research </li></ul><ul><li>Example: </li></ul><ul><li>A 45 year old male teetotal academic observing the alcohol drinking habits and social behaviours of 18-21 year old females in a night club </li></ul>
  12. 12. Reflexivity <ul><li>Who am I? </li></ul><ul><li>Politics of identity? </li></ul><ul><li>Values? </li></ul><ul><li>Assumptions? </li></ul><ul><li>Worldviews? </li></ul>
  13. 13. Generated Data <ul><li>Involves reconstruction </li></ul><ul><li>Requires re-processing & retelling of attitudes, beliefs, behaviour or other phenomena </li></ul><ul><li>The experience, thought, event, behaviour etc. is mentally re-processed & verbally recounted by study participants </li></ul><ul><li>Gives insight into people’s own perspectives </li></ul><ul><li>Example: What are your alcohol drinking habits and social behaviours when you are out with your friends at a night club </li></ul>
  14. 14. Generated Data Issues and Challenges <ul><li>Accessibility to research participants that meet sample criteria </li></ul><ul><li>Is the recounting of the research phenomenon likely to be sufficiently detailed, accurate or complete? </li></ul><ul><li>What version of the ‘story’ does the research participant want to make public? Ethics </li></ul><ul><li>Example: A focus group of 18-21 year olds talking in front of a researcher of similar socio-demographic profile to their mothers about their alcohol drinking habits and social behaviours when out with friends at a night club </li></ul>
  15. 15. Data Analysis <ul><li>Analysis is open to emergent concepts & ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple readings - immersion </li></ul><ul><li>Various styles: Documentary analysis; Conversation analysis; Discourse analysis; Thematic; Line-by-line coding… </li></ul>
  16. 16. Writing Up <ul><li>Outputs: focus on the interpretation of social meaning through mapping & re-presenting the social world of research participants </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple versions </li></ul><ul><li>Thick description (Geertz, 1973) </li></ul><ul><li>Audiencing </li></ul>
  17. 17. Key Elements <ul><li>Purposive selection </li></ul><ul><li>How do you know what is important to study? </li></ul><ul><li>Aims to provide an in-depth & interpreted understanding of the social world </li></ul><ul><li>Data collection methods usually involve close interaction researcher/research participants </li></ul><ul><li>Data is detailed, information rich & extensive </li></ul>
  18. 18. References <ul><li>Bishop, W. (2011) Ethnographic Writing Research: Writing it Down, Writing it Up, and Reading it, Heinemann </li></ul><ul><li>Bryant, J. (2009) What are students doing in our library? Ethnography as a method of exploring library user behaviour, Library and Information Research, 33(102): 3-9. </li></ul><ul><li>Clark, D. The Raw and the Rotten: Punk Cuisine. In C. Counihan and P. Van Esterik, Food and Culture: A Reader, Routledge, London, pp. 411-422. </li></ul><ul><li>Davies, B. (2003) Reflexive Ethnography: A Guide to Researching Selves and Others, Routledge, London. </li></ul><ul><li>Ethnography.com, http://www.ethnography.com/ </li></ul><ul><li>Fetterman, D. (1998) Ethnography: Step by Step, Sage, London. </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>Geertz, C. (1973) The Interpretation of Cultures  , Basic Books, New York. </li></ul><ul><li>Hammersley, M. and Atkinson, P. (1995) Ethnography: Principles in Practice, Routledge, London. </li></ul><ul><li>Laurier, E., Whyte, A. and Buckner, K. (2001) An Ethnography of Neighbourhood Café: Informality, Table Arrangements and Background Noise. Journal of Mundane Behavior , 2, 1-30 Available at: http://www.mundanebehavior.org/issues/v2n2/laurier.html </li></ul><ul><li>Lynch, P.A. (2005) Sociological Impressionism In A Hospitality Context, Annals of Tourism Research, 32(3): 527-548. </li></ul><ul><li>Miles, M., Huberman, A. (1994) Qualitative Data Analysis, Sage, London. </li></ul>
  20. 20. <ul><li>Sunstein, B. and Chiseri-Strater, E. (2007) FieldWorking: Reading and Writing Research, Bedford/St Martin’s, Boston. </li></ul><ul><li>Whyte, W. F. (1943) Street Corner Society: The Social Structure of an Italian Slum, Chicago University Press, Chicago. </li></ul>

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