The ethnographic study refers to a branch of anthropology that studies a group of people in-depth and tries to understand how they live. Generally, in ethnographic research, a group of researchers observes behavior in a person or a group of people with the help of pre-installed cameras that are set up at their homes or workplaces to understand how they would generally behave. By using modern methods, ethnographers can immerse themselves entirely in the people’s lifestyle and understand their points of view in-depth and in detail. It was first brought to light by anthropology, but its use has since expanded to various other social sciences.
Since some fascinating facts are related to the topic, it is unsurprising that more and more students are interested in this field of subject. Students who have little understanding of what ethnography is can always go through ethnography essays to get a good idea from other people’s point of view. Reading through other people’s analysis is one of the best ways to increase one’s knowledge base in class and general education. Besides, reading reflections of others is also an example of ethnography in action.
One of the best ways to conduct research on a group of people is to define goals of ethnography. The subject you are looking to learn will then determine how you can study the group better. Over the years, several ethnography research examples have garnered some fascinating facts that have helped change the course of the subject, from a traditional approach to the modern techniques of study. Here are a few facts to know about modern ethnographic research.
It is used in primary data
The research is most useful when done in the first stages of a user-centered design project since it focuses on developing an understanding of the project at hand. When ethnographic studies are conducted before a project begins, it can support future design strategies. It can also be used to analyze an existing design. The reviews are mostly done on complex projects that need critical analysis in design strategy. The more challenging the problems are, the more the clients will benefit from the study’s findings. For instance, it can be used by insurance companies who are looking to redesign their system of handling insurance claims.
The findings are both qualitative and quantitative
The findings that a researcher gets after thoroughly conducting research in ethnography are usually both qualitative and quantitative, the very thought of which can seem daunting to some since most of them view just research findings to be only qualitative. Like several other fields in anthropology, the findings are holistic, meaning the results are not differential. Each of the conclusions presents itself as a puzzle that brings the whole picture to the surface when combined. While collecting data, researchers employ both quantitative and qualitative techniques to conclude. If the researcher fails to use both, the findings may still be relevant and useful, but it cannot be referred to as ethnography.
The researches are conducted in the field
To qualify as a proper ethnographic study, researchers must go out in the field to conduct their investigation. The analysis of participants cannot be done through conducting interviews or through other means. Since it analyzes how people actually live and behave, it is mandatory that they be conducted at their place of residence or work and in a discreet manner. By truly understanding how people behave, researchers can discover otherwise elusive trends that can help their clients form design strategies to tap into the market. Intel, an IT company, for instance, has hired several anthropologists and ethnographers to provide valuable intel on their customer behavior.
The real-life application of ethnographic study is enormous. From being a mandatory tool for social media analytics to helping companies form marketing strategies, more and more students are interested in this field of science. Since its move to the digital environment, the possibilities of research are endless.