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York University
CRIM 2653
Anita Lam

Ethnography Realist and Postmodern Ethnography • Method for generating and analyzing qualitative data – “Grounded in first hand experience and examination of some particular social or cultural phenomena.” – Participant Observation – Forms of interviewing – Collection and analysis of documents, visual materials, artifacts, photography, oral histories, Ethnographic Naturalism • Inquirer captures the “real”, “true, or authentic nature of the social phenomena (as it is in its natural environment) • Best accomplished by “being there” in the form of participant observation • Emphasis on fidelity to the phenomena rather than to methodological principles • Rejected by postmodern thinkers Ethnographic Realism • Ethnography is both product and process • Ethnographic realism is the reflection of the participant observer’s attempt to develop an authentic view of the phenomenon (Naturalism) • Realist writing: “representational text” that is an accurate representation of phenomena under study • Literally, these would be an accurate reflection of the lives, attitudes, practices, beliefs, and so forth of those under study. Characteristics 1. Experience of the researcher is the authority, but the researcher is almost completely absent from the text 2. Documentary style that focuses on detailed observations 3. Painstaking quotation of the respondents 4. Absence of reflexivity Postmodern Ethnography • Realists do not and cannot capture authentic “nature” of the phenomena • Social dynamic exists between the fieldworker and the res
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