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Marie Buscatto

In: The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Data Collection

Chapter 21: Doing Ethnography: Ways and Reasons

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Doing Ethnography: Ways and Reasons
Doing Ethnography: Ways and Reasons
Marie Buscatto
Introduction

More than a century ago, anthropologists adopted ethnography as their main method (Taylor, 2002). Early on, they defined general scientific principles guiding the study of ‘foreign’ societies (Gobo, 2008). But ethnography has, also very early on, been adopted by other disciplines, such as sociology, opening new ways to study contemporary societies (Madge, 1963). For instance, at the end of the nineteenth century, Frederick W. Taylor founded his ‘scientific method’ based on his personal observation of workers (see Wästerfors, Chapter 20, this volume). In the 1920s Elton Mayo and his colleagues founded the ‘Human Resources School’ following the ‘Hawthorne experiment', which was mainly based on observations led among workers in a plant.1 After World War ...

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