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Ethnography facts for kids

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Ethnography is a kind of anthropology. Ethnographers study specific cultures.

Ethnography mostly uses participant observation. The researcher becomes part of the setting or mixes with the people being studied. They try to record patterns of social interaction and the thoughts and experiences of participants. Ethnographers want to understand these in their local contexts. Ethnography started in social and cultural anthropology in the early twentieth century. It spread to other social sciences, especially sociology.

Ethnographers mainly use qualitative methods. They may also use quantitative data.

According to Dewan (2018), ethnographers do not try to find generalized results. They study cultures in context and in a specific situation. The best way to use ethnography with quantitative research is to discover relationships. Then, use the results and data to test and explain empirical assumptions.

Noć muzeja 2014, Čakovec - poljoprivredni izlošci
Part of the ethnographic collection of the Međimurje County Museum in Croatia

The word ethnography comes from Greek words ἔθνος ethnos "folk, people, nation" and γράφω grapho "I write")

Important ethnographers

  • Manuel Ancízar Basterra (1812-1882)
  • Franz Boas (1858–1942)
  • Gregory Bateson (1904–1980)
  • Adriaen Cornelissen van der Donck (c. 1618 – 1655)
  • Mary Douglas (1921–2007)
  • Raymond Firth (1901–2002)
  • Thor Heyerdahl (1914-2002)
  • Diamond Jenness (1886-1969)
  • Mary Kingsley (1862–1900)
  • Carobeth Laird (1895-1983)
  • Ruth Landes (1908-1991)
  • Edmund Leach (1910-1989)
  • José Leite de Vasconcelos (1858-1941)
  • Claude Lévi-Strauss (1908-2009)
  • Bronisław Malinowski (1884-1942)
  • David Maybury-Lewis (1929-2007)
  • Margaret Mead (1901–1978)
  • Nicholas Miklouho-Maclay (1846-1888)
  • Gerhard Friedrich Müller (1705-1783)
  • Nikolai Nadezhdin (1804-1856)
  • Lubor Niederle (1865-1944)
  • Dositej Obradović (1739-1811)
  • Alexey Okladnikov (1908-1981)
  • Sergey Oldenburg (1863-1934)
  • Edward Sapir (1884–1939)
  • August Ludwig von Schlözer (1735-1809)
  • James Spradley (1933-1982)
  • Jean Briggs (1929-2016)
  • Cora Du Bois (1903-1991)
  • Lila Abu-Lughod
  • Elijah Anderson (born 1943)
  • Ruth Behar
  • Zuzana Beňušková (born 1960)
  • Zalpa Bersanova
  • Napoleon Chagnon (1938-2019)
  • Veena Das (born 1945)
  • Kristen R. Ghodsee (born 1970)
  • Alice Goffman (born 1982)
  • Jaber F. Gubrium
  • Katrina Karkazis
  • Richard Price (born 1941)
  • Marilyn Strathern (born 1941)
  • Barrie Thorne
  • Sudhir Venkatesh
  • Susan Visvanathan
  • Paul Willis

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