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Lecture 6

CMN 3103 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Cultural Artifact, Cyber-Ethnography, William Foote Whyte

Course Code
CMN 3103
Peruvemba Jaya

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Chapter 6 Ethnographic Field Strategies
What is Ethnography?
- Ioles the ethographer partiipatig, oertl or oertl, i people’s dail lies for a eteded period
of time, watching what happens, listening, asking questions collecting whatever data are available to
throw light on the issues that are the focus of the research
- Traditional cultural description
o Systematic observation
o Interpretation of shared meaning
o Desries hat is
o Thick, rich descriptions
- Intentionally seeks positive change and empowerment
o Reflective approach
o Value-driven judgements
o Desries hat ould e
Well Known Ethnographers
- Bronislaw Malinowski Argonauts of the western pacific, published in 1922
- Evan Pritchards Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic Among the Azande 1937
- William Foote Whyte Street-Corner Society published in 1943
Getting In
- Mode of inquiry involves participant observation
- Overt-covert controversy
- Researcher attitude
- Subjective motivation: based on personal experiences or identification with the research topic
- External motivation: access, proximity to data site
Gaining Entry
- Become familiar with the people being studied
o Start at the library
o Look for referrals
o Look for specialized language and jargon
Tips to Gain Entry
- Develop a research bargain
- Identify and befriend the gatekeeper
- Seek out guides and informants
Becoming Invisible
- Researcher presence without causing undue group interference
o Dangers of visibility
Intentional Misidentification: you may represent yourself intentionally to become
invisible and the assumed role can be taken as real
Accidental Misidentification: even if you do not misrepresent yourself, just by
association people looking into the group may take you to be part of that by association
Learning more than you want to know
Dangers of Ethnography
- Ambient Danger
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