Video Ethnography in Practice is a brief guide for students in the social disciplines who are required to produce an ethnographic video, the most significant new methodological technique in 21st century social analysis. The authors, both accomplished videographers, cover the basic techniques of creating a video that documents human culture and behavior with true stories of the process of videography throughout. This text shows how new technologies like smart phones, widely available video editing software, and YouTube, have turned video ethnography into something that is within reach of students in a conventional course framework.


You now have a subject. You have something to start with: a subject, a place, a general idea of what your work will be about. Don’t glorify it or insist that it will be same when you finish. Making a film is a journey of a thousand miles, beginning with a step. Ethnographic research moves in the direction of its subjects, human or nonhuman. You might wind up in another place and make a better movie. At least you won’t wind up in another time.

The present chapter deals with the following strategies:

  • How to find and film your subject
  • How to manage event filming
  • How to work with your participants
  • How to decide when you should film

Strategy differs from conceptualization—you’ve already done a bit of that. It ...

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