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Advantages & disadvantages of ethnographic research

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❶Ethnography can be greatly beneficial to both scientists and ordinary people. While ethnographic research can be applied to virtually any kind of sociological or anthropological subject of inquiry, there are distinct advantages and disadvantages to using the method.

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Ethnography has been around for several decades, although it became highly popular in the late 19th century. There have been several approaches to this study; Franz Boas, for example, preferred using documents and informants to learn more about other cultures. However, many ethnographers nowadays follow the approach of Bronislaw Malinowski, who believed that researchers should immerse themselves in the life of the people they were studying.

Malinowski embodied this belief by going to Trobriand Island, living there for several years while he did his fieldwork, and even learning the language of the local people.

At first glance, ethnography offers a wide range of benefits. Read on to learn more about the pros and cons of ethnography. It helps people know more about other cultures. Through the works of ethnographers, ordinary people can learn more about folks who live in other countries as well as their cultures, traditions, and norms.

This, in turn, opens their minds and makes them realize just how diverse the world is. This realization can help people become more accepting of others who are different from them in terms of race, ethnicity, religion, and political belief. As a result, they can avoid committing social faux pas, and they can easily get along with the locals and perhaps even make new friends.

It helps businesses learn more about their target market. Ethnography is highly useful to all businesses including small startups and large corporations since it helps them learn more about their target market.

They can then use this data to come up with strategies to improve their products or services and attract more customers. Researcher Ethnographic researchers need to be very highly-skilled to avoid all the potential pitfalls of an ethnographic study.

It is also vital that the subjects are open and honest with the researcher. As we can see from the above, most of the risks associated with ethnographic studies relate to the researcher, either directly or indirectly. We recommend choosing a researcher with a proven background of past involvement in successful projects across varying domains.

We would generally recommend that an ethnographic approach may be suitable for the early stages of a user-centred project that deals with a particularly complicated or critical design challenge. These ethnographic methods can also be very useful in discovering and exploring previously unknown issues. Perhaps the most critical decision within an ethnographic study is the choice of ethnographic researcher. We can help you create innovative, inspiring experiences by utilising a variety of design research methods.

Skip to navigation Skip to main content. Ethnography can help investigate very complicated or critical design challenges. What is ethnographic research? When to use ethnography Ethnography is most useful in the early stages of a user-centred design project. Advantages of ethnography One of the main advantages associated with ethnographic research is that ethnography can help identify and analyse unexpected issues. Disadvantages of ethnography One of the main criticisms levelled at ethnographic studies is the amount of time they take to conduct.

The two main potential weaknesses with ethnographic studies are: Conclusion We would generally recommend that an ethnographic approach may be suitable for the early stages of a user-centred project that deals with a particularly complicated or critical design challenge. Lastly, but foremost, ethnographers bring their own experiences, prejudices and culture to the study; ethnographers must continually guard against interjecting their bias into the study, changing the culture by their presence, or failing to correctly disclose their bias in their reports.

John Huddle is an Army veteran with enlisted service as general hospital staff and hospital chaplain's assistant. His career also included stints as a teacher, adjunct faculty, administrator and school psychologist. Huddle was a major party nominee for state office.

He also served as a director on several nonprofit boards. Today he enjoys consulting and lobbying for underdog causes. The database based on Word Net is a lexical database for the English Language.

References University of Southern California: About the Author John Huddle is an Army veteran with enlisted service as general hospital staff and hospital chaplain's assistant. Depending on which text editor you're pasting into, you might have to add the italics to the site name.


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Advantages & Disadvantages of Ethnographic Research Ethnographers study human cultures and societies by living among the people they study, by immersing themselves within the subject group in a process called participant-observation.

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Applying research techniques from the social sciences, in particular from anthropology, has a number of tangible benefits. Benefits of ethnography include: Ethnography immerses the project team in participants’ lives and enables a relationship to develop with research participants over the .

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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Ethnographic Studies. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of adopting an ethnographic approach to the study of society. Answer with detailed reference to at least one ethnographic study. The grade of complexity and accuracy of the results of a social research depends on adopting the most appropriate method. Qualitative research involves examining non-numerical data. One type of qualitative research is an ethnographic study, which examines the characteristics of a community. Ethnography has many strengths, including that it looks at complex cultural phenomena and that it looks at the big picture and takes a holistic view.

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Ethnographic research is a method of study which involves the field observation and qualitative analysis of human behaviour. While ethnographic research can be applied to virtually any kind of sociological or anthropological subject of inquiry, there are distinct advantages and disadvantages to using the method. Dec 16,  · Advantages & Disadvantages of Ethnographic Research. Ethnographic research is a method of study which involves the field observation and qualitative analysis of human behavior. While ethnographic research can be applied to virtually any kind of sociological or anthropological subject of inquiry, there are distinct advantages and disadvantages to using the method.