Ethnography is the description, interpretation, and analysis of a culture or social group, or of particular social practices, processes, or problems, through field research in naturally occurring settings. Ethnography is the core research practice of social and cultural anthropology and is commonly used in sociology and cultural studies, as well as in studies of science and technology, health, education, crime, and, increasingly, in consumer research, design, and product development. The method of participant observation is central to the practice of ethnography.

In anthropology, conventionally, ethnographic fieldwork is a long-term, comprehensive social immersion, usually in a culture alien to that of the researcher. This is contrasted with sociological ethnography, which usually involves more bounded periods of fieldwork and relatively discrete cultural forms and often takes place in ...

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