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Ethnographic Action Research: A Strategy for Multi-Stakeholder Research and Development Projects

By: & Published: 2019 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2
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The ethnographic action research approach illustrated in this case study was used as part of our PhD research, which took place within a tourism development context in the Finnish province of Lapland. The case study provides insights into our experiences and reflections throughout the different stages of two research and development projects based on an ethnographic action research approach. Although the projects took place independently from each other, they shared the common goal of promoting economic and social transformation in Lapland through sustainable tourism development. By discussing the design and implementation of the projects, we draw attention to the benefits and challenges of using ethnographic action research. The case study offers an opportunity to learn about the principles of ethnographic action research and about how these principles contribute to supporting research and development objectives within one single project. Furthermore, the case study shows how the methodology help both researchers and project participants build capacity and new knowledge by reflecting on the values guiding their daily practices. Indeed, the main strength of ethnographic action research lies in its potential to construct knowledge and understanding of a particular phenomenon through multi-stakeholder engagement.

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