Challenges & Observations of Ethnography | Free Online Course | Alison

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Understanding the Challenges and Observations of Ethnography

Analyze challenges that arise for researchers in ethnographic studies in in this free online course..

Free Course
Consider the challenges that arise in ethnography and how observations are used to gather information about a subject in this free course. Learn about gaining trust and building rapport with your study participants. The limitations of accessing participants how to navigate this issue are also covered. You will be taught about the different types of observation studies that are available and the degrees of ethical participation they entail.
  • Duration

    3-4 Hours
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This free online course in Understanding the Challenges and Observations of Ethnography will discuss how ethnography is relevant to the study people and the interplay between each other and their environment. First, the course takes you through understanding the observational methods of this field. As it deals with people and their interactions to try and understand their cultures and processes, this research method has its challenges and limitations, and the differences between the researcher and the participants must be acknowledged.

Next, the course explores these difficulties and looks at how the researcher can gain access to a group while still being sensitive to the participants. Gaining trust and building a bond with the participants in an ethical way is paramount to being successful in your research. ‘Immersion’ in ethnography will be discussed, which will help you gain a better understanding of being both an insider and an outsider, and in mastering both covert and overt research.

This course then covers the different types of observation methods and what is important to observe to answer the research question. Participation observation is an important skill and entails learning about an occurrence while engaging with it. Finally, the material looks at recording data from observations and what type of recording would best suit the research question.

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Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you should be able to:

  • Explain what access means in the context of ethnography
  • Describe ways to navigate and obtain access to your participants
  • Discuss the importance of gaining the participants' trust
  • Explain the concept of 'immersion'
  • Discuss the ethics around ethnographic studies.
  • Discuss the differences in the types of observation
  • Describe the method of participant observation
  • Discuss the different methods and tools in creating ethnographic records


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