Ethnographic Research Examples Characteristics And Types - Ethnography as a research method has been developed in the fields of sociology and cultural anthropology since the 20th century. As a research method, it can be said that ethnography is a type of qualitative research.
This research method is very contextual and seeks to reveal the social and cultural meaning of the group or social organization under study.
This post will briefly discuss what ethnography is, what are its characteristics, how this method is applied and what are examples of social research.
Basic knowledge of this method is very much needed, especially with the development of several variants of methods that have recently emerged to be followed, such as autoethnography, feminist ethnography, netnography and so on.
Ethnographic Research Examples
Definition of Ethnography
Ethnography is a type of research method that is applied to reveal the meaning of socio-cultural by studying the patterns of daily life and the interaction of certain socio-cultural groups (cultural sharing groups) in a certain space or context.
An ethnographer not only observes but also tries to integrate into the cultural life of the community group being studied.
To date, we have identified at least two important dimensions, namely the existence of a particular socio-cultural group and cultural integration between the researcher and the group under study.
What do ethnographers observe and learn during their research?
From several ethnographic research reports, I see that ethnographers tend to see patterns in the socio-cultural groups studied. These patterns include behavior patterns, belief systems, language and cultural values adopted in everyday life.
This socio-cultural group is countless from the most primitive to the modern. For example, we can see the Bedouin as a socio-cultural group. However, we can also see subcultures, such as JKT48 fans, flashpackers, urban faming communities and so on as socio-cultural groups.
Thus this method can be applied to study various social groups. It should be borne in mind that the cultural element that binds individuals into one group is the main characteristic studied in research using this method.
How to do an ethnographic study?
I mentioned earlier that entographers always seek to integrate culturally with the research subject being studied. One of the efforts to unify this is by applying participatory observation.
The cultural unification carried out by the ethnographer is the unification in the daily life of the people being studied.
That is, ethnographers try to "live" as the people studied live in various ways, such as: hanging out with them, eating what they eat, even sleeping with them often.
Ethnographic studies cannot be done instantly because cultural integration takes a long time. There is no provision for how long the ethnographic research is carried out.
The most important thing is how the researchers managed to immerse themselves in the daily culture of the local community.
In addition to participatory observation, in-depth interviews are also often part of the data collection technique of ethnographic studies.
This interview was conducted mainly to key informants who have a significant socio-cultural role in their group. When an ethnographer researches an organization, organizational leaders or senior actors can be key informants.
In principle, research using this method utilizes all available resources to collect data. So, not only participatory observation and in-depth interviews, but also any search including documents in the form of images, videos, audios, diaries, magazines, symbols, artifacts, and everything related to the research focus. It can also be seen as a researcher's attempt to understand the life of his research subject.
In practice, ethnographers often keep diaries during field research. This diary is used to record every activity of the research subject in daily life that is observed by the researcher. Bold detailed notes are typical of field data produced by ethnographers.
Types of Ethnographic Research
Methodist Creswell identified several types of ethnographic research, such as life history, autoethnography, novel ethnography, feminist ethnography, ethnography in electronic media, photography, video, audio and so on.
But broadly speaking, this research method can be categorized into two, namely realist ethnography and critical ethnography.
This type is the traditional type in which the researcher seeks to obtain data about an individual or situation from a third-person perspective. The role of the third person is very significant because it is able to provide an objective view of the phenomenon under study.
This type provides an opportunity for the ethnographer to narrate a third person voice about what is observed. The ethnographer takes a "backstage" position and positions the participant's objective view as a "social fact".
Reports prepared by realist ethnographers are written without being contaminated with personal and political bias and justification for "social facts" or also called value-free.
This type is a more contemporary type where the researcher participates in voicing or advocating the voice of the socio-cultural group being studied.
Critical ethnographers respond to conditions in contemporary society which assume that the system of power relations, prestige, and authority tends to marginalize individuals who come from different classes, races, and genders.
Therefore, the voice of the first person living in the situation or context under study is very important. One of the characteristics of this type of ethnography is the existence of an emancipatory value drive advocated by researchers, in other words it is not value-free.
In the following, I will describe some examples of ethnographic research through ethnographic research titles that have been tested and published as scientific works.
Example of ethnographic research
Several ethnographic research titles are presented here as examples only. Readers can find inspiration by reading the following research titles or those out there, but of course copy-pasting is prohibited because they have been published before.
The following are the selected ethnographic research titles:
- Struggling on a Silent Street: An Ethnographic Study of the Local Food Youth Movement in Surakarta
- Behavior of Using Personal Protective Equipment Swallow's Nest Downloader: An Ethnographic Study of Occupational Safety Behavior at Karangduwur Beach, Kebumen Regency, Central Java
- The Power of Women Sex Workers (A Critical Study of Feminist Ethnography on the Power Relations of Women Sex Workers in Madiun)
- Female Job Market Segmentation: An Ethnographic Study of Female Singers
- Money in Politics Contest: An Ethnographic Study of Money Politics Practices in Regional Head Elections in Yogyakarta City in 2011.
The function of Ethnography is actually to help find design challenges that are very complex or critical in a research sense. The reason is that the roots of ethnography lie in anthropological studies that focus on studying the social and cultural aspects of small communities abroad.
This is where it appears that the researcher who is the subject of the study lives in the midst of the population with the aim of understanding the culture that belongs to the community.
Thus, classical anthropologists are no strangers to field locations for participant observation. So on this basis, in using this research method it often takes years to get into the culture of the people under study.
Because they have to learn the language necessary to socialize with people and understand their daily habits, rituals, norms and actions.
Understanding Ethnography According to Experts
The definition of ethnography according to experts, among others;
Richards et al (1985)
Ethnographic research is the study of the life and culture of a society or ethnicity, for example about customs, habits, laws, arts, religion, language. The field of study that is very close to ethnography is ethnology, namely the comparative study of the cultures of various societies or groups.
Roger M. Keesing (1989)
What is meant by ethnographic research is the making of documentation and analysis of certain cultures by conducting field research. That is, in defining the culture of an ethnographer, the term for ethnographic researchers, also performs analysis.
The definition of ethnographic research is a certain method or set of methods in which there are various forms that have certain characteristics, including the participation of ethnographers, understanding and following one's daily life over a long period of time, seeing what happens, listening to what is being said. occur. is being said. said, asking questions. to them, and even collect whatever data is available.
Hammersley and Atkinson (2007)
Ethnographic research is the process of taking research data types with a cultural lens to study the lives of people in society.
Characteristics of Ethnographic Research
The main characteristic of ethnographic research is that data analysis is carried out holistically, not partially. Explanation;
- Data sources are scientific, meaning that researchers must understand empirical phenomena (reality) in everyday life
- The actor itself is the most important research instrument in data collection
- Descriptive in nature, meaning that it carefully records cultural phenomena that are seen, read, through anything including official documents, then combined, abstracted, and drawn conclusions.
- Used to understand certain forms (forming), or case studies
- Inductive analysis
- In the field, researchers must behave like the people they study
- Data and informants must be first-hand
- The validity of the data must be checked with other data (verbal data is checked with written data)
- People who are used as research subjects are called participants (books include participants as well), consultants, and colleagues
- Attention must be focused on the emic view, meaning that researchers must pay attention to important issues that are learned from the people being studied, not from ethics.
- In collecting data using purposive sampling and not statistical probability
- Can use qualitative data as well as data in quantitative research, but mostly use qualitative data
How to Write an Ethnographic Research
The sequence of steps that make up the ethnographic research methodology, among others;
Choosing an Ethnographic Project
The scope of these projects can vary widely, from studying complex societies to single social situations or institutions. Beginners would be wise to limit the scope of their project to one social situation so that it can be completed in a reasonable time. Social situations always have three components: place, actor and activity.
Asking Ethnographic Questions
The ethnographic researcher should at least be able to prepare a list of questions that will guide the recording of what he or she sees and hear and guide the methods of data collection.
Collecting Ethnographic Data
Researchers conducted fieldwork to find out people's activities, the physical characteristics of the situation, and how it felt to be a part of the situation. This step generally begins with an overview consisting of descriptive observations that are still broad in nature.
Then, after viewing the data, you move on to more focused observations. Here you use participant observation, in-depth interviews, and so on to collect data.
Making Ethnographic Notes
This step includes taking field notes and photographs, making maps, and using other appropriate means to record observations. The most familiar example of ethnographic research in Indonesia is related to the classification of Islam in Indonesia.
Analyzing Ethnographic Data
Fieldwork is always followed by data analysis techniques, leading to new questions and hypotheses, more data collection, and field notes, and more analysis. The cycle will continue until the project is complete.
Writing an Ethnographic Report
The results of ethnographic research must be written so that the culture or group is built, making the reader feel that he understands the community and its way of life. Ethnographic reports can range from a few pages to one or two volumes.
This is where we can greatly simplify this task by starting writing early as data accumulates instead of waiting for it to finish. Writing assignments will also be easier if, before writing, you read a well-written ethnographic report.