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Fieldwork is the hallmark of research for ethnographers. The method essentially involves working with people for long periods of time in their natural setting to see people and their behavior with all the real-world incentives and constraints. This naturalistic approach avoids the artificial response typical of controlled or laboratory conditions. Immersion in the natural setting enables the ethnographer to identify patterns of behavior over time that are typical of the group. The fieldworker uses a variety of methods and techniques to ensure the integrity of the data. These methods objectify and standardize the researcher's perceptions. Of course, the ethnographer must adapt each method to the local environment.

David M. Fetterman
10.4135/9781412950558.n214
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