The term “ethnography” has come to be equated with virtually any qualitative research project (e.g., see Research Gateway) where the intent is to provide a detailed, in-depth description of everyday life and practice. This is sometimes referred to as “thick description” — a term attributed to the anthropologist Clifford Geertz writing on the idea of an interpretive theory of culture in the early 1970s (e.g., see The Interpretation of Cultures, first published as a collection in 1973). The use of the term “qualitative” is meant to distinguish this kind of social science research from more “quantitative” or statistically oriented research. The two approaches, i.e., quantitative and qualitative, while often complementary, ultimately have different aims.
While an ethnographic approach to social research is no longer purely that of the cultural anthropologist, a more precise definition must be rooted in ethnography’s disciplinary home of anthropology.
Thus, ethnography may be defined as both a qualitative research process or method (one conducts an ethnography) and product (the outcome of this process is an ethnography) whose aim is cultural interpretation. The ethnographer goes beyond reporting events and details of experience. Specifically, he or see attempts to explain how these represent what we might call “webs of meaning” (Geertz again), the cultural constructions, in which we live.”
I hope that this additional information helps.
Internet Ethnography: See attached grading rubric
Increasingly the internet is a place where indigenous peoples can tell the world more about who they are and the issues they face. I want you to select one of the groups of people below to explore, using five internet sources.
There are three parts to this assignment.
Part One: The first part of the essay will be a traditional essay (complete with citations) in which you will cover:
1. The geographic location
2. Population of the group
3. Social structure
5. Language group/ethnic status
7. The primary issues and difficulties that the group faces today.
Part Two: You will review each of the websites you have used with a small paragraph. This means five small paragraphs in total. I want you to cover what information it contained, who was it written by, who is the audience for this website, and how useful you found it. Please feel free to use podcasts, Youtube videos, or documentary sources. I want you to find TWO sources written by the peoples themselves and tell me the differences between the websites written by the people themselves and about the people. Do proper annotations and be specific about the sites you used.
Part Three: In a final paragraph tell me if you think the internet is a good thing or a bad thing for indigenous peoples and why you have come to this conclusion.
This total word count of this project must be at least 1500 words and will have five websites as your sources. DO NOT use Wikipedia, Encarta or any other online encyclopedia for this project, or websites for tourists or commercial enterprises. I will take off points for this!! Use MLA referencing for your citations. Your paper MUST be cited properly!
Some examples of peoples from which to choose are listed here.