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Major influences on this development were anthropologist Lloyd Warner , on the Chicago sociology faculty, and to Robert Park 's experience as a journalist. Symbolic interactionism developed from the same tradition and yielded such sociological ethnographies as Shared Fantasy by Gary Alan Fine , which documents the early history of fantasy role-playing games.

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Other important ethnographies in sociology include Pierre Bourdieu 's work in Algeria and France. Jaber F. Gubrium's series of organizational ethnographies focused on the everyday practices of illness, care, and recovery are notable. They include Living and Dying at Murray Manor, which describes the social worlds of a nursing home; Describing Care: Image and Practice in Rehabilitation, which documents the social organization of patient subjectivity in a physical rehabilitation hospital; Caretakers: Treating Emotionally Disturbed Children, which features the social construction of behavioral disorders in children; and Oldtimers and Alzheimer's: The Descriptive Organization of Senility, which describes how the Alzheimer's disease movement constructed a new subjectivity of senile dementia and how that is organized in a geriatric hospital.

Another approach to ethnography in sociology comes in the form of institutional ethnography , developed by Dorothy E. Smith for studying the social relations which structure people's everyday lives. But even though many sub-fields and theoretical perspectives within sociology use ethnographic methods, ethnography is not the sine qua non of the discipline, as it is in cultural anthropology.

Beginning in the s and s, ethnographic research methods began to be widely used by communication scholars. As the purpose of ethnography is to describe and interpret the shared and learned patterns of values, behaviors, beliefs, and language of a culture-sharing group, Harris, , also Agar note that ethnography is both a process and an outcome of the research. Studies such as Gerry Philipsen's analysis of cultural communication strategies in a blue-collar , working-class neighborhood on the south side of Chicago, Speaking 'Like a Man' in Teamsterville , paved the way for the expansion of ethnographic research in the study of communication.

Scholars of communication studies use ethnographic research methods to analyze communicative behaviors and phenomena.

Cultural Anthropology/Introduction

This is often characterized in the writing as attempts to understand taken-for-granted routines by which working definitions are socially produced. Ethnography as a method is a storied, careful, and systematic examination of the reality-generating mechanisms of everyday life Coulon, This often gives the perception of trying to answer the "why" and "how come" questions of human communication.

The American anthropologist George Spindler was a pioneer in applying the ethnographic methodology to the classroom. Anthropologists such as Daniel Miller and Mary Douglas have used ethnographic data to answer academic questions about consumers and consumption. In this sense, Tony Salvador, Genevieve Bell , and Ken Anderson describe design ethnography as being "a way of understanding the particulars of daily life in such a way as to increase the success probability of a new product or service or, more appropriately, to reduce the probability of failure specifically due to a lack of understanding of the basic behaviors and frameworks of consumers.

The results are products and services that respond to consumers' unmet needs. Businesses, too, have found ethnographers helpful for understanding how people use products and services. Companies make increasing use of ethnographic methods to understand consumers and consumption, or for new product development such as video ethnography. Ethnographers' systematic and holistic approach to real-life experience is valued by product developers, who use the method to understand unstated desires or cultural practices that surround products.

Where focus groups fail to inform marketers about what people really do, ethnography links what people say to what they do—avoiding the pitfalls that come from relying only on self-reported, focus-group data. Modern developments in computing power and AI have enabled higher efficiencies in ethnographic data collection via multimedia and computational analysis using machine learning.

The ethnographic methodology is not usually evaluated in terms of philosophical standpoint such as positivism and emotionalism.

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Ethnographic studies need to be evaluated in some manner. No consensus has been developed on evaluation standards, but Richardson , p. Gubrium and James A. Holstein's monograph, The New Language of Qualitative Method, discusses forms of ethnography in terms of their "methods talk.


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Ethnography, which is a method dedicated entirely to field work, is aimed at gaining a deeper insight of a certain people's knowledge and social culture. Among the dangers of ethnography are that it can become indistinguishable from a kind of embedded journalism or blog with academic jargon giving it the veneer of academic legitimacy but without actually meeting the classic requirements for ethnography. Gary Alan Fine argues that the nature of ethnographic inquiry demands that researchers deviate from formal and idealistic rules or ethics that have come to be widely accepted in qualitative and quantitative approaches in research.

Many of these ethical assumptions are rooted in positivist and post-positivist epistemologies that have adapted over time but are apparent and must be accounted for in all research paradigms. These ethical dilemmas are evident throughout the entire process of conducting ethnographies, including the design, implementation, and reporting of an ethnographic study. Essentially, Fine maintains that researchers are typically not as ethical as they claim or assume to be — and that "each job includes ways of doing things that would be inappropriate for others to know".

Fine is not necessarily casting blame at ethnographic researchers but tries to show that researchers often make idealized ethical claims and standards which are inherently based on partial truths and self-deceptions.

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Fine also acknowledges that many of these partial truths and self-deceptions are unavoidable. He maintains that "illusions" are essential to maintain an occupational reputation and avoid potentially more caustic consequences. He claims, "Ethnographers cannot help but lie, but in lying, we reveal truths that escape those who are not so bold".

Much debate surrounding the issue of ethics arose following revelations about how the ethnographer Napoleon Chagnon conducted his ethnographic fieldwork with the Yanomani people of South America. While there is no international standard on Ethnographic Ethics, many western anthropologists look to the American Anthropological Association for guidance when conducting ethnographic work. According to Norman K.

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Denzin, ethnographers should consider the following eight principles when observing, recording, and sampling data:. General, in Communication. Desmond, Matthew. Savage, J.

Other cultures. Aims, methods and Achievements in Social Anthropology - Beattie, John

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Not to be confused with ethnology or ethography. For the academic periodical, see Ethnography journal. Systematic study of people and cultures. Outline History. Archaeological Biological Cultural Linguistic Social. Social Cultural. Research framework. Key concepts. Key theories. Actor—network theory Alliance theory Cross-cultural studies Cultural materialism Culture theory Diffusionism Feminism Historical particularism Boasian anthropology Functionalism Interpretive Performance studies Political economy Practice theory Structuralism Post-structuralism Systems theory.

Anthropologists by nationality Anthropology by year Bibliography Journals List of indigenous peoples Organizations. This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Ghodsee born Alice Goffman born Jaber F.

In: Mura P. Perspectives on Asian Tourism. Archived from the original on Retrieved Seeing Anthropology. Prentice Hall, Chapters One and Two. The Catholic Historical Review. Leiden: Privately published. Springer, Singapore. Philadelphia: Open University Press. David Ybema, D. SheetMetal Design User's Guide. The she said knowThe formed without its foundation musicians.

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