ethnography

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ethnography:

see anthropologyanthropology,
classification and analysis of humans and their society, descriptively, culturally, historically, and physically. Its unique contribution to studying the bonds of human social relations has been the distinctive concept of culture.
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; ethnologyethnology
, scientific study of the origin and functioning of human cultures. It is usually considered one of the major branches of cultural anthropology, the other two being anthropological archaeology and anthropological linguistics. In the 19th cent.
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ethnography

the direct observation of an organization or small society, and the written description produced. Often the method of observation involves PARTICIPANT OBSERVATION. The ethnographic method (sometimes also referred to as FIELDWORK) is a basic method in SOCIAL ANTHROPOLOGY, It is also a method used in some areas of sociology, e.g. COMMUNITY STUDIES. Usually a researcher gathers data by living and working in the society or social setting being researched, seeking to immerse himself or herself as fully as possible in the activities under observation, but at the same time keeping careful records of these activities.

In anthropology, an emphasis on the importance of the ethnographic method was initially associated with the functionalist school, which encouraged an analysis of the internal structure and function of single societies rather than historical or comparative studies (see FUNCTIONALISM). However, there is no inherent reason why ethnographic and comparative approaches should not be seen as complementary or why ethnography should simply be associated with one theoretical school.

ethnography

[eth′nä·grə·fē]
(anthropology)
The branch of ethnology that deals with the description of races or ethnic groups, without attempting to analyze or compare them.
References in periodicals archive ?
If our modern realities have indeed led to a dislocation from the place in which we dwell, what is needed are more ethnographies of interpretation meant to understand the seemingly concerted effort to foster both meaning making and, to borrow Basso's term, "topographies of lived experience" (1996:111).
It is this kind of "self-indulgent" writing that anthropologists like Joel Best fear in ethnographies.
Ethnographies Revisited sets out to explore and demonstrate how ethnographers generate and apply theory within the process of conducting ethnographic field research.
For Snyder, "ethnographic modernism" encompasses modernist texts that emulate ethnographies on the level of content or style, and she makes a compelling argument that the adoption of contemporary ethnographic methodology contributes to modernist representations of de-centered selves and fluid, multiple perspectives.
The approach lays stress on the narrative presence of "others" in ethnographies (Marcus and Cushman 1982:43).
Ethnographies can easily fall prey to a primitivism that reifies the group studied forever in some pure folk cultural situation.
Partial ethnographies are provided, but the main focus is on discussing the problems these anthropologists encountered, how they solved them (or wish they had), and what they learned about studying complex organizations or what contributions ethnography can make in these contexts.
Goodall suggests that new ethnographies emerge from living, studying, reflecting, and "storying"-culminating in an enlarged scholarly "conversation.
In contrast with confessional memoirs in which the ethnographer becomes a superhero (with legendary linguistic and interactional skills) or else a slapstick antihero (stumbling through field research), narrative ethnographies focus not only on the ethnographer's Self but also on ethnographic Others and the precise nature of the interaction between Self and Other.
Steinmetz includes their historical origins, ritual and symbolic life, and a careful record of speeches given at communal worship -- an important part of Lakota ritual often omitted in ethnographies in favor of stage directions for rituals.
The closest thing to an indigenous voice cited for things Afghan actually comes in connection with Ahmed's and Barth's ethnographies of "Pathans," a social category often and problematically assimilated with "Pashtuns," "Pukhtuns," and "Afghans.
Selections of ethnographies, covering numerous different cultures, can be compared with each other to help create and test theories that may be applied on a more global basis.