Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Teo


  • Brenda A. LeFrançois
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5583-7_97


Ethnography is a qualitative research method that has evolved out of ethnology within the broader field of cultural and social anthropology.

With the emphasis in research conducted within mainstream psychology on positivistic quantitative research, ethnographic research within the field of psychology has been slow to gain stature as a viable and rigorous form of qualitative research within naturalistic settings.


Ethnography is a research methodology that seeks to explore and describe emic or etic knowledge about specific cultural groups and cultural phenomena and thus contribute to the understanding of the social and cultural life of humans. The concept of “culture” is defined broadly to include any group that shares and engages within a common psychosocial experience, within a given space. What constitutes a given space – the field – is also defined broadly to include any geographical space, large or localized, or any virtual space, where members of the culture...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social WorkMemorial University of NewfoundlandSt. John’sCanada