Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Audrey C. Shalinsky
Ethnographic fieldwork is an in-depth localized research process aimed at the description and analysis of cultural systems. Both scientific and artistic in perspective and approach, ethnographic fieldwork is characteristic of the work of cultural anthropologists who seek explanation and/or interpretation of human behavior, practices, ideas, and values. Conducted in the naturalistic setting of everyday life, ethnographic fieldwork lasts from months to years as ethnographers immerse themselves in the social interaction and cultural scenes of a social group. Ethnographic fieldwork involves either applied or basic research goals. For the latter, a researcher investigates a group, a previously unexplored topic, or one that has changed significantly, writing publications that describe, for example, the Nuer ...