According to Wikipedia ( last accessed 15/3/2023):

Ethnography is a branch of anthropology and the systematic study of individual cultures. Ethnography explores cultural phenomena from the point of view of the subject of the study. Ethnography is also a type of social research that involves examining the behavior of the participants in a given social situation and understanding the group members' own interpretation of such behavior.

As a form of inquiry, ethnography relies heavily on participant observation—on the researcher participating in the setting or with the people being studied, at least in some marginal role, and seeking to document, in detail, patterns of social interaction and the perspectives of participants, and to understand these in their local contexts. ........

....... According to Dewan (2018), the researcher is not looking for generalizing the findings; rather, they are considering it in reference to the context of the situation. In this regard, the best way to integrate ethnography in a quantitative research would be to use it to discover and uncover relationships and then use the resultant data to test and explain the empirical assumptions.[13] In ethnography, the researcher gathers what is available, what is normal, what it is that people do, what they say, and how they work.[14]

Ethnography can also be used in other methodological frameworks, for instance, an action research program of study where one of the goals is to change and improve the situation.[14].......

..... Multiple methods of data collection may be employed to facilitate a relationship that allows for a more personal and in-depth portrait of the informants and their community. These can include participant observation, field notes, interviews, and surveys....

...... In order to make the data collection and interpretation transparent, researchers creating ethnographies often attempt to be "reflexive". Reflexivity refers to the researcher's aim "to explore the ways in which [the] researcher's involvement with a particular study influences, acts upon and informs such research".[19] Despite these attempts of reflexivity, no researcher can be totally unbiased. This factor has provided a basis to criticize ethnography.

...... Participation, rather than just observation, is one of the keys to this process.[21] Ethnography is very useful in social research.'


Further links and background

Library items

Loving beggars - how to escape from stereotypes about street people : HERE

The eyes have it: an everyday exercise in ethno-methodology : HERE



  • Theory and practice : HERE
  • PIEs 2.0  as a 'research-ready' framework? : HERE
  • The PIE Abacus as a research tool : HERE
  • The PIE Abacus in communities of practice and research : HERE
  • The PIElink community research and evaluation SIG : HERE



  • Developing as a PIE :  HERE



  • On evaluation : HERE 
  • Approaches to evaluation : HERE
  • Evaluation of specific interventions : HERE
  • Formative vs summative evaluation : HERE
  • Evaluation by outcomes : HERE
  • Whole systems evaluation : HERE
  • The PIElink community research and evaluation SIG : HERE

PIEs and the Pizazz approach to assessment

  • Exploring the Pizazz (for PIE leads) forum : HERE
  • PIEs assessment - what's the point? : HERE
  • How far do you want to go? : HERE
  • How's things? (a.k.a 'The coffee break Pizazz') : HERE
  • Peer review stage in the Pizazz assessment process : HERE
  • Service users' PIE assessments  : HERE