By Angrosino Michael
Together with assurance of the choice of situations, commentary and interviewing, recording information, and takes into consideration moral concerns, Doing Ethnographic and Observational examine introduces the reader to the perform of manufacturing facts via ethnographic fieldwork and observational examine.
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Additional resources for Doing Ethnographic and Observational Research
1998) Opportunity House: Ethnographic Stories of Mental Retardation. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira. D. J. (1999) Designing and Conducting Ethnographic Research (Vol. J. Schensul, S. Schensul and M. LeCompte, (eds), Ethnographer’s Toolkit. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira. qxd 6/11/2007 6:10 PM Page 28 3 Selecting a field site Begin with a personal inventory Selecting a field site Rapport 28 29 32 Chapter objectives After reading this chapter, you should know • • the factors that must be taken into account by a researcher who is planning ethnographic research; and the ways in which the researcher establishes and maintains rapport so as to function as a participant observer at the field site.
Some of those objective criteria are scholarly in nature, others purely pragmatic. The following pointers may be useful. qxd 6/11/2007 6:10 PM Page 30 Doing ethnographic and observational research 1. Select a site in which the scholarly issue you are exploring is most likely to be seen in a reasonably clear fashion You will develop a sense of the issue to be studied in a number of ways. Your research focus may be: • • • • • • a direct assignment by your instructor; a follow-up to a study conducted by a reputable researcher; an exploration of an issue that is currently in the news; an outgrowth of your reading of the scholarly literature – you may have identified a gap in what we think we know about a particular issue; the result of personal experience and your desire to gather wider information about something that affects you directly; an intention to work for a social or political cause by collecting information that might support that position.
Notwithstanding the weight we grant to ‘eyewitness’ accounts, the fact is eyewitnesses can be quite unreliable because most of us have gotten used to tuning out most descriptors. So ethnographic observation cannot depend solely on our ‘natural’ facilities.