In the final part of the chapter, I shall highlight some of the ‘central concerns of this topic by contrasting psychometry and ethnography, The chapter seeks to address the following questions: •- What do we mean by ethnography? •- What are the key principles guiding ethnographic research? •- How might one deal with threats to the reliability and validity of this type of research? •- Why is context important to ethnographic research? •- In what ways does ethnography contrast with psychometric research? ? •Definition:Ethnography involves the study of the culture/characteristics of a group to real-world rather than Laboratory settings. The researcher makes no act to isolate or manipulate the phenomena under investigation, and insight generalizations emerge from close contact with the data rather than from theory of language learning and use.
it is a qualitative type of research. Ethnography is provided by LeCompte and Goetz (1982). They use ethnography shorthand term to encompass a range of qualitative methods including study research, field research, and anthropological research.LeCompte and Goetz argue that Ethnography is defined by the use of participant and non-participant observation, a focus on natural settings, use of the subjective views and belief systems of the participants in the research process to structure that research,and avoidance by the investigators of manipulating the study variables. Wilson (1982) identifies the roots of ethnography in anthropology and sociology although there is also a strong tradition in research into animal behaviour (see, for example, Martin and Bareson 1985).Chaudron (1988) identifies ethnography as one of the four major traditions in applied linguistic research, although he does not devote a great deal of his book to research carried out within this tradition. He characterizes ethnographic research as a qualitative, process-oriented approach to the investigation of interaction, and points our that it is a rigorous tradition in its own right, involving ‘considerable training, continuous record keeping, extensive participatory involvement of the researcher in the classroom, and careful interpretation of the usually multifaceted data.
Ethnographic Research Essay Example
Watson and Ulichny (1988) identify several key principles of ethnographic research. These include the adoption of a grounded approach to data the use of ‘thick’ explanation, and going beyond description to analysis interpretation and explanation. They point out that ethnography involves interpretation, analysis, and explanation not just adoptation.Explanation takes the form of grounded ; theory which, as we have seen, is theory based in and derived from data and arrived at through a systematic process of induction'(The most complete treatment of grounded theory is to be found in Glaser and Strauss Their two other key principles are ‘holism’ and ‘thick’ explanation. ? Principles of ethnographic research Ethnography has suffered somewhat from being applied rather loosely to any research that is not a formal experiment, giving rise, in some quarters, to the suspicion that the tradition and its practitioners lack rigour.However, as Chaudron (1988) and others have pointed out, true ethnography demands as much training, skill, and dedication as psychometric research. WiLson relates the tradition to two sets of hypotheses about human behaviour.
These are: 1. the naturalistic ecological hypothesis: The naturalistic ecological perspective has, as its central tenet, the belief that the context in which behaviour occurs has a significant influence on that behaviour. It fellows that if we want to find out about behaviour. we need to investigate it in the natural contexts in which it occurs, rather than in the experimental laboratory.