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A Synthesis of Ethnography - Essay Example

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The following essay under the title 'A Synthesis of Ethnography' focuses on ethnography which is considered to be a branch of anthropology which deals with the scientific description of cultures. Ethnographic research is the type of research which seeks to observe the sociocultural behavior…
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A Synthesis of Ethnography
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There are certain principles of ethnographic research which form the basic guidelines for ethnographic research. These are naturalism, understanding, and discovery. Naturalism is the view that social research should capture human beings in their natural environment directly. Understanding conveys that human beings do not give out fixed responses each time and each response has to be understood individually. Lastly, ethnographic research is defined as being inductive or discovery-based, rather than merely testing the hypothesis.
According to ethnography, cultural understandings need to be identified for research interest. An ethnographic study can overestimate the role of cultural perceptions or underestimate the role of objective forces.
Ethnography can identify the relevant community of interest though often this isn’t easy. Factors like community, formal organization, informal group, and individual-level perceptions may affect the subject of study. An ethnographic focus may overestimate the role of community culture and underestimate the causal role of individual psychological or of sub-community forces.
It is also believed that the researcher has complete knowledge of the subject under study including the language and customs of the population. In this case, the researcher may get influenced by his or her own culture during the study.
Cross-Cultural ethnographic research assumes that given measures have the same meaning across cultures. Read More
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