C Griffin, A Bengry-Howell

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This chapter was commissioned by the book?s editors (Willig and Stainton Rogers), two established researchers in British qualitative social psychology. The Sage series of Handbooks on Research Methods is well known, with an international readership, especially in the USA and UK. The book is aimed at qualitative researchers in psychology, and was published in July 2007, so no reviews are available yet. The chapter provides an informed discussion of the application of ethnographic research methods in qualitative psychological research. CG?s contribution is 70%. CG supervised ABH?s PhD (registered at the University of Birmingham): he is currently at Bath, employed as an RA on CG?s ESRC grant on ?Young people and alcohol consumption?. This chapter covers the origins of ethnography in anthropological research during the 1920s and ?30s. The different types of ethnographic research are outlined, from full participant observation to systematic forms of non-participant observation. We also discuss what is distinctive about ethnography, or what ethnographic and observational methods offer to qualitative researchers in psychology that is different from other research methods used in psychology. We examine the ways in which ethnographic and observational research has been used to address psychological research questions. Key issues related to ethnographic and observational methods are discussed: representation, engagement and ?bias?; interpretation and the analysis of observational data; and ethics, access, deception and gaining informed consent. The chapter examines the potentialities and limitations of ethnographic methods, using examples from our own research, in particular Andrew Bengry-Howell?s PhD research based on an ethnographic study with young working class men who modify their cars. The chapter ends by discussing future directions for ethnographic and observational methods in qualitative psychology research. (274 words)
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Qualitative Methods in Psychology. Due to be published in 2007
Place of PublicationLondon:
PublisherSage Publications
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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