Shared worlds: multi-sited ethnography and nursing research
Evidence & Practice Previous     Next

Shared worlds: multi-sited ethnography and nursing research

Luke Molloy Lecturer, School of Nursing, University of Wollongong, Wollongong NSW, Australia
Kim Walker Professor of healthcare improvement, University of Tasmania, Darlinghurst NSW, Australia
Richard Lakeman Visiting senior lecturer, University of Tasmania, Darlinghurst NSW, Australia

Background Ethnography, originally developed for the study of supposedly small-scale societies, is now faced with an increasingly mobile, changing and globalised world. Cultural identities can exist without reference to a specific location and extend beyond regional and national boundaries. It is therefore no longer imperative that the sole object of the ethnographer’s practice should be a geographically bounded site.

Aim To present a critical methodological review of multi-sited ethnography.

Discussion Understanding that it can no longer be taken with any certainty that location alone determines culture, multi-sited ethnography provides a method of contextualising multi-sited social phenomena. The method enables researchers to examine social phenomena that are simultaneously produced in different locations. It has been used to undertake cultural analysis of diverse areas such as organ trafficking, global organisations, technologies and anorexia.

Conclusion The authors contend that multi-sited ethnography is particularly suited to nursing research as it provides researchers with an ethnographic method that is more relevant to the interconnected world of health and healthcare services.

Implications for practice Multi-sited ethnography provides nurse researchers with an approach to cultural analysis in areas such as the social determinants of health, healthcare services and the effects of health policies across multiple locations.

Nurse Researcher. 24, 4, 22-26. doi: 10.7748/nr.2017.e1506

Correspondence

lmolloy@uow.edu.au

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 28 June 2016

Accepted: 27 September 2016

Want to read more?

Subscribe for unlimited access

Try 1 month’s access for just £1 and get:

Your subscription package includes:
  • Full access to the website and the online archive
  • Quaterly digital edition
  • RCNi Portfolio and interactive CPD quizzes
  • RCNi Learning with 200+ evidence-based modules
  • 10 articles a month from any other RCNi journal
Subscribe
RCN student member? Try Nursing Standard Student
Already subscribed? Log in

Alternatively, you can purchase access to this article for the next seven days. Buy now

Or