Ethnographic research: How To

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Fairly simple description of doing ethnographic research, particularly from the perspective of preparing for Christian ministry in a culture,

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  • Shopkeepers are good. Professional singers bad. Business executives bad.
  • Remember the Pinsao jeepney.
  • Supernatural. Sacrifice Felt need
  • See, hear, touch, smell, taste.
  • Dangerous? Dan Seals. Peter and Cornelius
  • Parasites. Story at BNHS and Celia doing community profiles.
  • Explain folk-language. “salvage” “plastic” Engineering. Stress, strain, jerk, pressure, mechanical advantage, harnessing, Fears. We don’t tell them what to fear. 97% of Americans don’t fear hell. Taxonomies: Categorizing… such as supernatural beings.
  • Reader is educated and potentially interested… but assume they are unfamiliar with group.
  • Ethnographic research: How To

    1. 1. Ethnographic Research: How To. Presented by : Bob Munson BUKAL Life Care & Counseling Center
    2. 2. Step #1. Choose a Group <ul><li>Generally, it is best to choose a group that one has access to or good potential for access. (If you have that option) </li></ul><ul><li>A bad choice of group may make the task impossible… or at least miserable. </li></ul>
    3. 3. Step #2. Decide on a Problem <ul><li>What do you want to know about the group? </li></ul><ul><li>You can change direction, but you should start with a direction. </li></ul><ul><li>“ You cannot change a plan until you first make a plan” </li></ul>
    4. 4. Problem Choice <ul><li>Choose and interesting question that you don’t know the answer to, believe you can get a good answer to, and find usefulness in the answer . </li></ul>
    5. 5. Step #3. Choose a plan of Action <ul><li>Interviews? </li></ul><ul><li>Literary Research? </li></ul><ul><li>Walk-thrus/Observation? </li></ul><ul><li>Number of informants? </li></ul><ul><li>Triangulation? </li></ul><ul><li>Type of Interviews? </li></ul>
    6. 6. Types of Interviews <ul><li>Informal </li></ul><ul><li>Unstructured </li></ul><ul><li>Semi-structured </li></ul><ul><li>Structured </li></ul><ul><li><For ethnographic research, most interviews should be unstructured or semi-structured.> </li></ul><ul><li>Small Group, one-on-one, focus groups? </li></ul>
    7. 7. Step #4. Find a “Good Informant” <ul><li>Knowledgeable </li></ul><ul><li>Embedded in the culture (emic) </li></ul><ul><li>Articulate </li></ul><ul><li>A “gatekeeper” </li></ul><ul><li>Willing to share regarding culture </li></ul><ul><li>Willing to help researcher have access to others. </li></ul>
    8. 8. Good Informant <ul><li>Remember, a good informant is still only one perspective. Get more perspectives. At least 3-5 good sources of information is valuable. </li></ul><ul><li>A great deal of similarity between a “good informant” and “man of peace” </li></ul><ul><li>Often need to choose a group based on availablity of a good informant. </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes, the gatekeeper is a separate person from a good informant. </li></ul>
    9. 9. Step #5. Interact with community and informants <ul><li>Use all senses. </li></ul><ul><li>Be open-minded, non-judgmental. </li></ul><ul><li>Do not proselytize!! Do not preach!! You are there to learn. </li></ul><ul><li>Be careful in how one takes notes. Notetaking affects the research. </li></ul><ul><li>Utilize dialogue. </li></ul><ul><li>Come as a LEARNER!! </li></ul>
    10. 10. THINK before you speak! <ul><li>Is it T rue? </li></ul><ul><li>Is it H elpful? </li></ul><ul><li>Is it I mportant? </li></ul><ul><li>Is it N ecessary? </li></ul><ul><li>Is it K ind? </li></ul><ul><li><Learners listen more than speak.> </li></ul>
    11. 11. Values of Ethnographic Research and Dialogue <ul><li>Breaks down misunderstandings </li></ul><ul><li>Opens doors for “them” to learn from “us” </li></ul><ul><li>Opens doors for “us” to learn from “them” </li></ul><ul><li><Discussion: Is this last point good? Is this last point dangerous?> </li></ul>
    12. 12. Remember <ul><li>We are children being instructed by mature individuals in their community. (incarnational model) </li></ul><ul><li>We are guests and they are hosts. </li></ul><ul><li>We are NOT in search of “The Truth”, we are in search of truth from their perspectives. </li></ul><ul><li>We are not parasites. We freely give and freely (and gratefully) receive (Luke 10) </li></ul>
    13. 13. Step #6. Compile and Analyze Data. <ul><li>Folk Language: Find what they mean by certain words or phrases. </li></ul><ul><li>Timeline. How is the day spent. </li></ul><ul><li>Physical Map. Important places in their culture. </li></ul><ul><li>Socio-economic information. </li></ul><ul><li>Felt needs, felt fears. </li></ul><ul><li>Artifacts and beliefs </li></ul><ul><li>Taxonomies </li></ul>
    14. 14. Step #7 Follow-up <ul><li>It may be necessary to revisit informants or gather additional information/ clarification. </li></ul><ul><li>The previous interviews may open new areas of research. </li></ul>
    15. 15. Step #8. Write Ethnography <ul><li>Introduction: Target group, problem </li></ul><ul><li>Literary Research (optional): Describe research or opinions of experts in this area (including controversies or areas unresearched). </li></ul><ul><li>Methodology (may include some verbatim reporting) </li></ul><ul><li>Analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Summary (may include future possibilities for reseach, or potential applications) </li></ul>
    16. 16. Remember <ul><li>Write in 1st person or 3rd person, but always focus on the reader (who is a complete outsider to this culture). </li></ul><ul><li>Respect confidentiality and show respect for informants and culture. (Imagine that a member of this culture got hold of your paper.) </li></ul>

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