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Ethnography, in the simplest sense, refers to the writing or making of an abstract picture of a group of people. “Ethno” refers to people, and “graph” to a picture. The term was traditionally used to denote the composite findings of social science field-based research. That is, an ethnography represented a monograph (i.e., a written account) of fieldwork (i.e., the first-hand exploration of a cultural or social setting). In contemporary research, the term is used to connote the process of conducting fieldwork, as in “doing ethnography.” For this entry, ethnography is addressed in the dual sense of monograph and research process.

Traditions

Ethnography has been an integral part of the social sciences from the turn of the 20th century. The challenge in imparting an understanding of ethnography lies ...

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