Differentiate between ethnography and phenomenology.


Ethnography and phenomenology both have roots in grounded theory. What aspects of the data collection and analysis procedures might prompt psychological researchers to act as Frost (2011) suggests and discount ethnography as a research approach? Why? [300 words, 3 References, 3 in text Citations. Strong academic scholarly writing required. No water down ESL writing]


See Attachment for material/note as well as: Frost, N. (2011). Qualitative research methods in psychology: Combining core approaches. McGraw-Hill Companies

PSY-850 Lecture 4

Read chapters 3 and 4.


Differentiate between ethnography and phenomenology.

Contrast data collection and analysis methods employed in ethnography and phenomenology.

Approaches to Qualitative Research: Ethnography and Phenomenology


Ethnographic studies are considered a special case of phenomenological study when the phenomenon observed is a specific culture (Geertz, 1973). Their use ranges from the study of remote primitive cultures by participant-observers to urban marketing studies of the nature of demand for products using focus groups.



The ethnographic approach studies the social interactions of a group to learn the mechanisms by which individuals develop understanding of their everyday life-world. This is the identification of the ways and means used to create dynamic social equilibrium in their group (Garfinkel, 1967). These ways and means enable group members to have fairly accurate expectations of others’ behavior and a basis for comprehending expected and unexpected behavior. The product of an ethnographic study is an explicit description of these ways and means.


With this knowledge, researchers can begin to understand how the group’s members make sense of the world in which they exist. If successful, it may be possible to determine what events (e.g., the immigration of foreigners or the gain of a new local industry) and conditions (e.g., prolonged drought or growth in incomes over a couple of decades) to which the group may adapt well and to what they may have difficulty adapting. Two key variables here are the expectation (from fully expected to unexpected) and the comprehensibility (from fully comprehensible to incomprehensible).

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.