Ethnography: Step-by-Step

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SAGE, 1998 - Medical - 165 pages
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Sifting through notepads filled with illegible scrawl, listening to hours of tape recordings, labeling and organizing piles of photographs and slides and cross-referencing disks of data are all too familiar pictures to the ethnographic researcher. How does one manage a mountain of data and make meaningful statements? By using the new, updated Ethnography that has proved so reliable to thousands of researchers. This edition takes a step into a new frontier - the Internet, which is one of the most-powerful resources available to ethnographers. The book now provides insights into the uses of the internet, including conducting searches about topics or sites, collecting census data, conducting interviews by "chatting" and video-conferencing, sharing notes and pictures about research sites, debating issues with colleagues on listservs and in online journals, and downloading useful data collection and analyses software. Maintained from the first edition is coverage of the nature of fieldwork, the equipment needed to conduct research, the analysis of data, the differences and similarities between qualitative and quantitative approaches and writing the report. Throughout the book author David M. Fettermen provides insights into putting people at ease, research ethics, and sensitivity to other cultures.

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Anthropological Concepts
Methods and Techniques
Ethnographic Equipment
About the Author

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About the author (1998)

David M. Fetterman is the President and CEO of Fetterman & Associates, an international ethnographic and evaluation consultation firm. He works in a wide range of settings, ranging from townships in South Africa to Google in Silicon Valley. Clients and sponsors include: the U.S. Department of Education, W. K. Kellogg Foundation, Hewlett Foundation, Hewlett Packard Philanthropy, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and Arkansas Department of Education. David has also provided consultation services for the: Ministry of Education in Japan, Ministry of Health in Brazil, Ministry of Health in Ethiopia, and Te Puni Kokiri (Ministry of Māori Development) in New Zealand. He concurrently serves as a member of the faculty at Pacifica Graduate Institute and the University of Charleston. Dr. Fetterman has over 25 years of experience at Stanford University. He was a Consulting Professor of Education in the School of Education and the Director of Evaluation in the School of Medicine at Stanford University. Formerly, he served as a Professor and Research Director at the California Institute of Integral Studies, Principal Research Scientist at the American Institutes for Research, and a Senior Associate and Project Director at RMC Research Corporation. He received his PhD from Stanford University in educational and medical anthropology. David is a past-president of the American Anthropological Association’s Council on Anthropology and Education and the American Evaluation Association. He is a Fellow of the American Anthropological Association and the Society for Applied Anthropology. David received the Top Anthropologist of the Year 2019 Award; George and Louise Spindler Award, for outstanding contributions to educational anthropology; and the Ethnographic Evaluation Award. He also received the Paul Lazarsfeld Award for Outstanding Contributions to Evaluation Theory and the Myrdal Award for Cumulative Contributions to Evaluation Practice—the American Evaluation Association’s highest honors. Fetterman has contributed to a variety of encyclopedias and is the author of Ethnography: Step by Step; Excellence and Equality: A Qualitatively Different Perspective on Gifted and Talented Education; and Empowerment Evaluation in the Digital Villages: Hewlett-Packard’s $15 Million Race Toward Social Justice. Dr. Fetterman is the editor of: Ethnography in Educational Evaluation; Educational Evaluation: Ethnography in Theory, Practice, and Politics; Speaking the Language of Power: Communication, Collaboration, and Advocacy (translating ethnography into action); Qualitative Approaches to Evaluation in Education: The Silent Scientific Revolution; Empowerment Evaluation: Knowledge and Tools for Self-assessment, Evaluation Capacity Building, and Accountability; Empowerment Evaluation Principles in Practice; and Foundations of Empowerment. (Details of the projects are available at

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