So I embark on a thread of blogs about ethnography. My PhD involved ethnographic research in secondary schools, focussing on geography lessons. I spent much of 2011 in a very different environment – the Residential Unit at Karitane, a health service for families with young children. Both were fascinating, exhausting, inspiring experiences, over sustained periods of time. I’ve also been involved in more intense (what some might call ‘drive by’ or ‘parachute’) observational work that draws on an ethnographic sensibility.
I’m generally interested in learning about how people practise ethnography, how ethnographic methodology is responding to changes in the world, the kinds of questions we are asking of the world, and the kinds of answers or accounts of the world we wish to produce.
I have been lucky at UTS to find over 100 people with interests in ethnography, and to have had chances to explore with them what it means to do ethnography, how they do it, and why.
As we meet, and as I read and continue my own ethnographic work (which is now in analysis and writing stages, for a book) I will post more substantial writing.
If any of you have comments or issues relating to your own ethnographic work I’d be delighted if a kind of forum gets going here.