Ethnographic Research Design

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Sometimes the research question of inquirers require benefits more from a qualitative data collection approach than a quantitative approach as they explore groups of people, in such cases ethnographic designs are best suited for their needs. Ethnographic research is designed for the collection of qualitative data because it goal is to write about groups of people in a cultural context such as “language, rituals, economic and political structures, life stages, interactions and communication styles” (Creswell, 2008, p.473). A design such as ethnographic research that requires researchers to observe and interact with the focus group or individuals opens new doors to understanding the cultural groups and their characteristics that appear over time. As schools’ diversity increases, the task is to understand the cultural groups and the role these play in the field of education. Even though ethnography studies fall under a variety of categories, the three clearly identified forms of ethnographic design include realist ethnographies, ethnographic case study, and critical ethnographies (Creswell, 2008). The three types of ethnographic design vary in their characteristics, approach, and purpose. Therefore, researchers need to analyze the types of ethnographic design to understand and identify the characteristics from which their research questions benefits most as a consideration to making a decision on the design to use.
One form of ethnographic design are realist ethnographies that are characterized by their focus on remaining objective, abstaining from judgment and simply presenting the facts as witnessed during the collection of data (Creswell, 2008). Writing objectively about the human interactions within a cultural group help researc...

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...heir differences and individual characteristics as analyzed for each of the ethnographic research types, comprehending the purpose of approach of each prepares researchers to make decisions about the approach they will use for their research. Although identifying the need for a design that allows the researcher to collect data that facilitates the understanding of human behavior in the context of culture-sharing groups, the researcher also needs to determine how to analyze the data and the study’s purpose. Only after a complete evaluation, will the researcher properly identify the ethnographic research design most appropriate to address the research question and supports the ideas presented in the purpose statement.

Works Cited

Creswell, J.W.(2008). Educational Research: Planning Conducting, and Evaluating Quantitative and Qualitative Research. Pearson 3rd Ed.

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