Ethnographic Argumentation as Scientific method

In reference to Clifford & Marcus (1986), ethnography is two fold with

  1. being the fundamental cultural anthropological research method and
  2. being the written text which is normally developed to analyze and report on the ethnographic research results.

As a research method, ethnography digs to answer anthropological questions related to the ways of life of living human beings and especially in the link between behavior and culture as well as analyses of how different cultural processes develop over time. To address this, ethnographers utilize a broad description of cultural or social life phenomena based on a small number of cases (Clifford, & Marcus, 1986).

Van Maanen (1988) explains that to ensure richness in answering research questions, ethnographers normally intermingle with the study population and engage in “participant observation” where they interact and participate in study population’s local daily life ranging from ordinary undertakings like meal consumption to important rituals and ceremonies.

This particularly helps them to gain an “emic” perspective which is the point of view which is gained devoid of the imposition of their own conceptual frameworks.

In data collection and participation with the study sample, the ethnography utilizes first-hand methods of data collection which is holistic in nature to analyze the entire work rather than arriving at a conclusion based on a single example. At this level, the ethnographers conducts interviews with the utilization of open-ended-questions, compiles detailed field notes and other site documents available as data. As a qualitative research, ethnography deals descriptively with a wide range of cases, (Ronnie 2008).

In ethnographic argumentation, there is the utilization of the initial ethnographic ‘scene setting’ description as a prefatory or preliminary aspect in the text to establish the authenticity while still working to foreshadow an appropriate frame of reference to the intended reader of a particular text.

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These prefatory and introductory elements contribute greatly to enhance the sociological arguments persuasiveness potential of a given text (Ronnie 2008).

Applications of ethnographic argumentation

It is the role of the social world through the ethnographer to convey a sense of parson and place to the reader. It follows therefore that the social world is predominated with actors who have their culture and daily lives portrayed in the physical space, it then involves the rhetorical work with the ethnographer to influence the reader with the reasonableness and existence of the phenomenon or the world represented. In ethnographic argumentation, the ethnographer descriptively creates factual and plausible nature of their accounts which carefully foreshadow significant thematic aspects in sociology itself meaning that it carries with it the analytic message rather than mere descriptive writing.

At this level, it means therefore that through how metonymic and metaphorical utilization of language is drawn upon, organization of texts, texts organization in thematic elements, shifting of the various points of view together with the way narratives and descriptions are selected and written; it determines how explicitly the argument is conveyed.

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Ethnographic Argumentation as Scientific method. (2016, Sep 23). Retrieved from

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