ethnography

(noun) A qualitative research method in which a researcher observes a social setting to provide descriptions of a group, society, or organization.

Examples:

  1. Robert Henry Codrington’s (1830–1922) The Melanesians: Studies in their Anthropology and Folk-Lore(1891).
  2. Margaret Mead’s (1901-1978) Sex and Temperament in Three Primitive Societies (1935).

Audio Pronunciation: (eth·nog·ra·phy)

Download Audio Pronunciation: ethnography.mp3

Usage Notes:

  • Plural: ethnographies
  • Also called descriptive anthropology.
  • Ethnography used in a sentence: I completed an ethnography of a domestic violence shelter.
  • An (noun) ethnographer uses the research methodology of ethnography to produce (adjective) ethnographic or (adjective) ethnographical work (adverb) ethnographically.

Related Quotations:

  • “Ethnographers seek out the insider’s viewpoint. Because culture is the knowledge people use to generate behavior and interpret experience, the ethnographer seeks to understand group members’ behavior from the inside, or cultural, perspective. Instead of looking for a subject to observe, ethnographers look for an informant to teach them the culture” (Spradley and McCurdy 2008:4).

Additional Information:

Related Terms: 

 


References

Spradley, James P., and David W. McCurdy. 2008. Conformity and Conflict: Readings in Cultural Anthropology. Boston: Pearson Education.

 

Works Consulted

Abercrombie, Nicholas, Stephen Hill, and Bryan Turner. 2006. The Penguin Dictionary of Sociology. 5th ed. London: Penguin.

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. 5th ed. 2011. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Bruce, Steve, and Steven Yearley. 2006. The SAGE Dictionary of Sociology. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

Collins English Dictionary: Complete and Unabridged. 6th ed. 2003. Glasgow, Scotland: Collins.

Ferris, Kerry, and Jill Stein. 2010. The Real World: An Introduction to Sociology. 2nd ed. New York: Norton.

Griffiths, Heather, Nathan Keirns, Eric Strayer, Susan Cody-Rydzewski, Gail Scaramuzzo, Tommy Sadler, Sally Vyain, Jeff Bry, Faye Jones. 2016. Introduction to Sociology 2e. Houston, TX: OpenStax.

Jary, David, and Julia Jary. 2000. Collins Dictionary of Sociology. 3rd ed. Glasgow, Scotland: HarperCollins.

Kendall, Diane. 2011. Sociology in Our Times. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Kimmel, Michael S., and Amy Aronson. 2012. Sociology Now. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Marsh, Ian, and Mike Keating, eds. 2006. Sociology: Making Sense of Society. 3rd ed. Harlow, England: Pearson Education.

Macmillan. (N.d.) Macmillan Dictionary. (https://www.macmillandictionary.com/).

Merriam-Webster. (N.d.) Merriam-Webster Dictionary. (http://www.merriam-webster.com/).

O’Leary, Zina. 2007. The Social Science Jargon Buster: the Key Terms You Need to Know. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

Oxford University Press. (N.d.) Oxford Dictionaries. (https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/).

Princeton University. 2010. WordNet. (https://wordnet.princeton.edu/).

Random House Webster’s College Dictionary. 1997. New York: Random House.

Schaefer, Richard. 2013. Sociology: A Brief Introduction. 10th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Scott, John, and Gordon Marshall. 2005. A Dictionary of Sociology. New York: Oxford University Press.

Shepard, Jon M. 2010. Sociology. 11th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Stolley, Kathy S. 2005. The Basics of Sociology. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

Thompson, William E., and Joseph V. Hickey. 2012. Society in Focus: An Introduction to Sociology. 7th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Thorpe, Christopher, Chris Yuill, Mitchell Hobbs, Sarah Tomley, and Marcus Weeks. 2015. The Sociology Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained. London: DK.

Turner, Bryan S., ed. 2006. The Cambridge Dictionary of Sociology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation. (https://en.wikipedia.org/).

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wiktionary, The Free Dictionary. Wikimedia Foundation. (http://en.wiktionary.org).

 

How to Cite the Definition of Ethnography

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “ethnography.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved December 14, 2018 (https://sociologydictionary.org/ethnography/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

ethnography. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/ethnography/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “ethnography.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed December 14, 2018. https://sociologydictionary.org/ethnography/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“ethnography.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 14 Dec. 2018. <https://sociologydictionary.org/ethnography/>.