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How to Write Ethnography?

Maya Pillai Sep 26, 2018
Ethnography is a branch of cultural anthropology. A person researching in this field is known as an ethnographer. Here are few tips on how to write ethnography.
Before dwelling on how to write ethnography, it would be a wise idea to understand what this branch is all about. A scientific method of learning about a person or a group of people and their community is known as ethnography. It is a branch of cultural anthropology. A researcher or ethnographer has to live among the community members as part of his study.
He has to lead an ordinary life and work alongside the informants who have the knowledge and information about the community. That is, fieldwork is involved in this subject, and it may take years before you could make a project report or thesis about a particular ethnic group you are researching.
Once the research or the fieldwork is completed, an ethnographer has to make a report on his study. The report would include the daily life of a person or community, their rituals, social phenomena and an assortment of other events. This report is known is as ethnography. It could be either descriptive or interpretive.

Tips for Writing Ethnography

There are various ways to write such a report. However, before writing, you should be aware of your audience or the target group.
Write from the reader's point of view, if you want them to understand what you are trying to convey. You could use first person or third person language. Usage of conversational language is also acceptable.
1. The first and the foremost thing that you have to do is once you have selected the environment or person, you need to formulate a questionnaire. This would help you in recording the various observations of your research. While researching on a person or group, it is wise to take help of a person who is an authority on the subject of your research.
2. The first page should be an introduction to your study. If you are studying on a particular group or an environment, you need to mention the problems faced by the group or the environment. You can also mention the questions for which you planned to get answers or solutions.
3. When you are researching on a particular issue of a community or group, you need to mention the various opinions of the experts on this matter. You could also include the points on which they have not commented.
4. The next step is to write on the methodology of your research. That is, you would have to mention how, when, and where you had collected your information. In some cases, you can also mention about your informants and the various interviews you have conducted as part of your study.
5. The most important portions are the analytical pages, where you analyze your research and also establish a relation between your research work and the original problems you had mentioned in the introduction pages. You can also give your opinion regarding a problem.
The final page is the conclusion page, where you give a summary of your research.
Ethnography helps the social scientists to understand various activities of a person or group of persons in a day-to-day life. An ethnographer interacts with the person or the group he is investigating.