The word 'ethnography' is derived from the Greek "ethnos", meaning a people, nation, or cultural group etc. and "graphy" meaning writing.
It refers to a first hand descriptive work of a particular group/culture based on the immersive observations of the researcher.
Library Search: Use
Not all ethnographies will contain the term "ethnography" in the book title or description, so you will have to think about other ways to find relevant ethnographic materials.
Here are some examples of online search techniques you can try. Youc an use combinations and variations of these suggestions in order to pinpoint the materials you need.
You will always have to examine the books and materials you find through your online searching to make sure they are ethnographies / ethnographic studies.
e.g. ethnograph* and welsh communities
e.g. ethnograph* and china
e.g. ethnograp* and muslim women
e.g. ethnograp* and animal
ethnograph* has been used to find variant word endings, e.g. ethnography, ethnographies, ethnographic
You could also use ethnolog* for ethnology, ethnologies, ethnologic etc.
e.g. "case study" and muslim women
e.g. "social anthropology" and navajo
e.g. "case study" and zoo
The quotation marks "..." have been used for phrase searching, i.e. your search terms must appear next to each other in that exact order.
e.g. "social life and customs" and British expatriates
e.g. "social life and customs" and aborigines
e.g. kinship and welsh communities
e.g. marriage rituals and south america
e.g. religio* and london immigrants
e.g. ritual* and animal* and death
e.g. In the Anthropology Online database you can select ethnography as a content type when searching.
Sample search: ethnograp* and muslim women
The catalogue tab shows matching book titles for this search - both print and ebook formats.
The Articles + more tab shows the matching book titles plus journal articles and other materials.
Sample search: "social anthropology" and food and ritual and hindu* and ethnography
The results have also been refined by selecting the Anthropology subject area
Note that both book and journal articles are available.
Sample search: Advanced Search option used
"Africa" selected in Place Terms Index list & Ethnography & Field Notes selected as Content Types
You will find many book length ethnographies within the Social Sciences section of the Forum Library on Level -1. The 300s section holds materials relating to Sociology and Anthropology.
For example: this work ethnographic work is found at 152.42KAV in the Forum Library which is within the Psychology section.
You will find that some materials are located within the topic/subject section to which they relate, evn though they may be an ethnographic study. So be prepared to branch out beyond the 300s section in the library
The title of the book alone will not be sufficient to flag all the relevant material encompassed in the book. For example you may be looking for discussion of childhood or education topics and these terms may not appear in the book title which might be framed around family or communities or the groups under discussion.
It is not obvious from this book title, exactly which aspects of welsh communities are included.
If you hover over the i (information icon) you get a brief picture, but you will find that the contents page and the index at the back of the book are invaluable aids if you want to pinpoint discussion of particular aspects of welsh community life such as family, farming, masculinity, Welsh language etc.
And in this example, you can see how helpful the index is, in flagging the topics that are addressed in this ethnographic work.
In addition to looking at ethnographic works, you might also be interested in finding out more about 'doing ethnography' in order to understand the research methodology in greater depth.
As well as using Library Search to find ethnographies, you can also use it to look for materials about ethnographic research methods.
In this sample search for doing ethnography, the catalogue tab shows a mix of print and electronic books on the topic.
You could use other research methodology terms such as immersive anthropology or observational research etc.
The Articles + more tab shows the same book titles, but also other full text content such as journal articles, conference materials and dissertations etc.
SAGE Research Methods is a vast research methodology database. You can use it to learn about a wide range of research methods across the social sciences and also to access book and reference works on methodology topics.
For example, you can use the Methods Map to learn more about Ethnography as a research method - as well as narrower and broader related research methods.
Illustrative screenshot of Ethnography Methods material on Sage Research Methods (login to access content)
Illustrative Ethnography texts available via Sage Research Methods (login to access content)
You can also use the online research databases to find books and journal articles related to the science and techniques of ethnography as a research methodology.
You will find find all the databases via the A-Z list.
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