Ethnographic project

This field study is an ‘ethnographic project’. Ethnographic research examines sociocultural phenomena of a particular group or community, through observation and interviewing. Hence, the aim of this assignment is to study an aspect of a particular social group, event or theme through collection of primary data. That means it is not a desk-based project which can be done through reading literature. Even though you should read relevant literature to research the background and context of your topic, the data that form the basis of your work will be obtained through interviews in the ‘field’ and/or observation, ‘field’ in this case meaning a particular setting that you choose, which could be a company, a shop, a particular area of London, etc. It should be carried out over a period of about 6 weeks. For a good study you should have between 30-60 minutes worth of interviews – this could be two or three longer interviews, or for example 6 shorter interviews – this will depend on whether your topic requires a small or larger sample. You need to have written consent from your interviewees – this will be explained in the field study tutorials. You need to attach the transcript of your interviews to the field study as an appendix.
You will have to decide on a particular group and topic that you want to investigate, choose a setting where that topic can best be studied, and document the collection and analysis of your data in a written report. The topic will depend on your interests. It needs to link to one of the themes covered in class, i.e.
• language, linguistic identity, language use, bilingualism
• national or regional identity
• racial or ethnic identity
• social class
• gender issues
• intergenerational relations
• stereotyping and perception of others
• migration and cross-cultural adjustment
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• multicultural society, tolerance and free speech
• ideas around leadership in modern society
The focus of your study must be a social group or setting …
• that you yourself do not belong to: You have to demonstrate that your field study is cross- cultural: that you are crossing a cultural boundary (not necessarily of a national culture)
• that you can gain access to during the time span allocated for the field study
Think of a topic that excites you, something you wish to understand better. Use your creativity, but keep the focus narrow! The question you are asking should be answerable with the help of the data you are collecting.
You can link the topic to your degree programme: you can choose a business environment (a company, a retail outlet, an office, a coffee shop, etc.) as the setting. You can choose events as the setting, or investigate cultural aspects of marketing, or fashion. Methods
• Ethnographic interviews
• Field notes
• Structured observation with observation notes
How should I structure my report?
Please include:
Cover Page: with your name, word count and title
Introduction: with main research aims, your reason for choosing this topic and your main research question.
Methods (interview) & Methodology (procedures during data collection)
Here you need to describe what methods you used for collecting your data. These will most likely be interviews and/or observation. Describe how many people you interviewed, for how long, whether individually or in groups, and where. Describe how you recorded the information (audio recording, taking notes during the interview, taking notes after the interview). Describe where you carried out observations, for how long, at what time, what exactly you were looking out for. You cannot claim to have used observation as a research method if there is no recording of the observed (which represents your evidence), as well as description and analysis. How did
Contemporary Intercultural Issues (CCS501)
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you analyse the data? First the secondary data, and then how did you analyse the interviews? How did you put the information you received into different categories? Did you fit the respondents into different categories, according to their responses?
Findings & Discussion (data analysis)
Here you need to show the results of your research, what information you received in your interviews. This is the main part of your report. Do not report the interviews one-by-one, but analyse the information and put it into different categories (thematic, content analysis). Look for striking themes and patterns emerging from your data. Data analysis means interpreting and discussing the results. Are the results as expected or are they surprising? How can the results be explained? How do they relate to other studies or the literature that you have read on the subject? Are they similar or different to that literature? Can the results be trusted or did respondents tell you what they thought was appropriate to say? Here you need to demonstrate that you are reflexive.
Conclusion: Summarize the results of your research project! Do not introduce new points or aspects here. These are your concluding remarks. Points you may add (but don’t have to): how did you benefit from the study? You can add a critique of the process: what would you do differently? (but do not add trivial points such as ‘I should have started earlier’)
Bibliography: There must be a minimum of three quality secondary sources (articles, books, etc.) in your bibliography. Make sure the bibliography is in alphabetical order, by the author’s surname. Do not separate books and online sources! This should be one list. If you only list internet sources this will not make a good impression on the markers! You also need to demonstrate within the text how you have used those sources, using the Harvard system of referencing.
Appendix: In this section you need to attach the interview transcription. This does not count toward the final word count.
The first step for you is to find a topic

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