Fresh, insightful and clear, this exciting textbook provides an engaging introduction to the application of qualitative methodology in the real world. Expert researchers then trace the history and philosophical underpinnings of different methodologies, explore the specific demands each places upon the researcher and robustly set out relevant issues surrounding quality and rigor. Featured methodologies include action research, discourse analysis, ethnography, grounded theory, case studies and narrative inquiry. This practical book provides a helpful guide to the research process - it introduces the relevant methods of generating, collecting and analysing data for each discrete methodology and then looks at best practice for presenting findings. This enables new researchers to compare qualitative methods and to confidently select the approach most appropriate for their own research projects. Key features include: • Summary table for each chapter - allowing quick checks to test knowledge • ‘Window into’ sections - real world examples showing each methodology in action • Student activities • Learning objectives • Full glossary • Annotated suggestions for further reading • Links to downloadable SAGE articles • Links to relevant websites and organizations This is an invaluable resource for students and researchers across the social sciences and a must-have guide for those embarking on a research project. Visit the accompanying companion website for a range of free additional resources.

Critical Ethnography

Urmitapa Dutta

Learning Objectives

After reading this chapter, you will be able to:

  • Outline the evolution of critical ethnography
  • Discuss the philosophical assumptions underlying ethnographic approaches
  • Identify the links between epistemological positions and specific methods
  • Describe the critical role of the ethnographer in the research process
  • Explore key ethical and validation issues in ethnographic research
  • Identify the range of methods available for data collection, analysis, and dissemination of ethnographic research


The term ethnography is derived from the Greek ethnos meaning nation or people and graphia, meaning writing. In the classical tradition, ethnography refers to the descriptive study of ‘other’ (usually non-western) cultures through a researcher's immersion in that culture. However, as with many other research methods, ethnography has come to mean different things in different historical and ...

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