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Third Edition

October 2009 | 200 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

"Emphasis on the use of theory as a guide is excellent and cannot be stressed enough among students . . . . Ethical standards are comprehensively addressed. Any doubts the reader may have had are dispelled by the author's compelling arguments and illustrative examples."
—Patricia I. Documét, University of Pittsburgh

"The text has included most topics that I cover in my seminar with doctoral students and some that believe they will find helpful. One of those items an actual approach to writing a research proposal and distinctions between action research, policy research, and investigatory kinds of explorations."
—Barbara K. Curry, University of Delaware

The Third Edition of Ethnography: Step-by-Step guides readers in collecting and making sense of large amounts of ethnographic data. It also offers current discussion about the use of technology in the pursuit of ethnography. Fundamentally, however, it demonstrates how ethnography is more than a methodological approach. For David M. Fetterman, ethnography is a way of life.

1. The First Step: An Overview
2. Walking in Rhythm: Anthropological Concepts
3. A Wilderness Guide: Methods and Techniques
4. Gearing Up: Ethnographic Equipment
5. Finding Your Way Through the Forest: Analysis
6. Recording the Miracle: Writing
7. Walking Softly Through the Wilderness: Ethics

"Overall, I found the text to be highly enjoyable, and feel that Fetterman is able to convey material in a noteworthy manner that will appeal to both novice and experienced ethnographic researchers. I very much recommend this book as an introductory guide to conducting ethnographic research, and I believe that others will find it as practical and valuable as I have."

The Qualitative Report

A perfect introduction for students new to the field of ethnographic research. I totally recommend to use it in courses on research methods and field studies preparation as it covers so many important aspects of ethnography.

Ms Roswitha Kersten-Pejanic
Department Of Slavic Studies, Humboldt University of Berlin
January 9, 2018

Very easy to read step-by-step guidance for students

Ms Nakissa Campbell
Dept of Care and Early Years, Weston College
December 18, 2017

Undergraduate research in the Social Sciences is often limited to Action Research or Case Studies, usually because these two approaches are easier to grasp. Now, thanks to a well presented step by step guide students new to research will be undertake ethnographic research projects. Fetterman, not only manages to explain this approach in clearly but provides excellent assistance in how to gather and interpret data. It is a very good one stop shop for budding ethnographers.

Mr Sam Emmett
Early Childhood Education, Glyndwr University
October 18, 2017

For those wanting to know more about the detail of ethnography and making links to ethnographic research, this is a good book. This is also a good book for those starting out on their own research journey considering ethnographic aspects.

Mrs Christina Dodds
Faculty of Health, Social Work & Educ, Northumbria University
September 12, 2016

This is a great textbook and provides helpful, hands on tips for college students learning how to do ethnographic research.

Professor Matthew Pierce
International Studies , Southern Bapt Theological Sem
November 3, 2015

Interesting read. Gives a good understanding to anyone wishing to learn more about ethnography. Would recommend any student to read this what ever course they are on.

Mr Matthew Hirst
Arts, Business and Social Science, University Campus Suffolk
July 6, 2015

This Third Edition of Ethnography: Step-by-Step is well written and is an absolute must for anyone undertaking ethnographic research. It provides a comprehensive perspective on the ethnographic journey and will support both the understanding and application of ethnography as a methodology.

Mrs Donna Lewis
School of Health (Burton), Wolverhampton University
May 27, 2015

This step by step guide to ethnography is a very useful text, guiding students from conceptualising the research problem to its final stages. The clear distinction between different types of research is particularly useful. It is an easy to follow text that provides a picture of the complex nature of ethnographic studies. An essential read for both undergraduate and postgraduate students. Also useful as a guide for academics wishing to utilise ethnographic studies in their teaching.

Mrs Sharon Colilles
Carnegie Faculty of Sports & Education, Leeds Beckett University
March 21, 2015

Easy to follow text that provides a picture of the easy yet complex nature of ethnographic studies. As a novice researcher I have found this a particularly useful text and will definitely recommend this to fellow colleagues and students.

Mrs Jillian Taylor
Health, Nursing & Midwifery (Hamilton), University of the West of Scotland
March 6, 2015
Key features
  • Written in a conversational tone, so as to be accessible to all readers.
  • Maintained from the first edition is coverage of core concepts in ethnography, such as the nature of fieldwork, the analysis of data, the differences and similarities between qualitative and quantitative approaches, and how to write a report.
  • Offers coverage of current and provocative topics related to ethnography, such as institutional review boards, as well as researcher-participant relationships in the field and the implications of such relationships.
  • Provides an up-to-date discussion of the use of technology in ethnography.
  • Includes expanded coverage of ethics in research.
  • Sample Materials & Chapters


    Chapter 1 - The First Step: An Overview

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