Ethnography: problems and prospects

  • Hammersley M
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This article reviews a range of difficult issues that currently face ethnographic research, and offers some reflections on them. These issues include: how ethnographers define the spatial and temporal boundaries of what they study; how they determine the context that is appropriate for understanding it; in what senses ethnography can be*/ or is*/ virtual rather than actual; the role of interviews as a data source; the relationship between ethnography and discourse analysis; the tempting parallel with imaginative writing; and, finally, whether ethnography should have, or can avoid having, political or practical commitments of some kind, beyond its aim of producing value- relevant knowledge.

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  • Martyn Hammersley

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