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Arkansas State University

Ethnography: Home

This guide collects resources on ethnography, including examples of ethnographic research and resources on how to conduct ethnographic research.

Ethnography Guide

This guide is intended to help you find both print and online ethnography resources. This guide is only a starting point for your research, it is not meant to be a comprehensive list of resources. If you need further assistance, please visit the Service Desk in the library or contact your librarian, Robert Robinette, at rrobinette@astate.edu

Poll

Your choice of subculture for an ethnography?
Hipsters: 0 votes (0%)
Goths: 1 votes (10%)
Internet trolls: 1 votes (10%)
Modern cannibals: 5 votes (50%)
Furries: 3 votes (30%)
Total Votes: 10

What is ethnography?

From The Sage Dictionary of Cultural Studies

"Ethnography is an empirical and theoretical approach inherited from anthropology whose central purpose is to generate detailed holistic description and analysis of cultures based on intensive fieldwork." (read the entire entry here)

From The A-Z of Social Research 

"Ethnography can be defined as the study of people in naturally occurring settings or ‘fields’ by means of methods which capture their social meanings and ordinary activities, involving the researcher participating directly in the setting (if not always the activities) in order to collect data in a systematic manner but without meaning being imposed on them externally. The capture of these social meanings was called by Clifford Geertz ‘thick description’ to emphasise the richness and depth of ethnographic data, and is more colloquially called ‘telling it like it is’ or ‘insider knowledge’."  (read the entire entry here)

From Encyclopedia of Social and Cultural Anthropology

"The word ‘ethnography’ has a double meaning in anthropology: ethnography as product (ethnographic writings – the articles and books written by anthropologists), and ethnography as process (participant observation or fieldwork). The product depends upon the process, but not in any simple A→B relationship. In constructing ethnographies, anthropologists do more than merely ‘write up’ the fieldnotes they record as part of the process of doing fieldwork. If ethnographies can be seen as the building blocks and testing grounds of anthropological theory, ethnographies and the ethnographic process from which they derive are also shaped and moulded by theory." (read the entire entry here)

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