Critical Ethnography

Critical ethnography is an approach to conducting ethnography with a political purpose. Conducting critical ethnography means committing to addressing social injustice and inequality through the research process. In this way, critical ethnography incorporates critique, or critical theory, into the methodological choices and practices of the researcher. As with conventional ethnography, fieldwork and the qualitative interpretation of data are cornerstones of critical ethnography. However, doing critical ethnography requires the researcher to recognize that methodological choices have political consequences. The main political concerns of critical ethnographers include the following: active reflection on their choice of theories and methods, accountability for any potential consequences of their research, researcher positionality, deconstructing taken-for-granted assumptions to uncover the workings of power and control, and advocating for social change.

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