What is ethnography? Can it survive? Should it?

Hammersley, Martyn (2018). What is ethnography? Can it survive? Should it? Ethnography and Education, 13(1) pp. 1–17.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/17457823.2017.1298458

Abstract

This paper notes that, in the field of education and beyond, the term ‘ethnography’ has acquired a range of meanings, and comes in many different versions, these often reflecting sharply divergent orientations. I argue that this is a major problem that requires attention; particularly since today there are some serious threats to the practice of ethnographic work, on almost any definition. However, while we need to forge greater agreement about the meaning of the term, this is a challenging task. Indeed, if we take ‘ethnography’ to refer to a whole methodological approach little agreement will be possible. I argue that it may be feasible if we treat ethnography as one methodological strategy among others, each having varying advantages and disadvantages for the purposes of investigating particular topics. However, the fundamental disagreements among ethnographers today about ontological, epistemological, and axiological matters render even this by no means unproblematic.

Viewing alternatives

Metrics

Public Attention

Altmetrics from Altmetric

Number of Citations

Citations from Dimensions

Item Actions

Export

About

  • Item ORO ID
  • 51906
  • Item Type
  • Journal Item
  • ISSN
  • 1745-7831
  • Keywords
  • Definitions of ethnography, types of ethnography, threats to ethnography, nature of ethnography, participant observation
  • Academic Unit or School
  • Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
  • Copyright Holders
  • © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
  • SWORD Depositor
  • Jisc Publications-Router
  • Depositing User
  • Jisc Publications-Router

Recommendations