Ethnography

This approach allows for in-depth understanding and exploration of a certain topic or theme. Its aim is also to bring out the ‘thick descriptions’ or detailed and profound understandings and perspectives of the specific theme of interest. Usually it involves living for considerable lengths of time in a household or community and partaking in daily life there. Used as a key method in anthropological enquiries, ethnography often includes (participant) observation of events of particular interest to the topic of research.

Typically, this method involves the researcher blending in and acting as naturally as is possible. As such, the researcher would not take notes or use any form of recording when partaking in daily life or during an event, but would write-up notes once they are back on their own. The current research also carried out structured observations where certain events or interactions were selected beforehand and a guide was prepared identifying key issues to track and note. Again, the researchers observed during the interactions and wrote the notes afterwards.