Ethnography: principles, practice and potential
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Ethnography: principles, practice and potential

Jan Draper Head of nursing, Faculty of Health and Social Care, The Open University, Milton Keynes, England

Ethnography is a methodology that is gaining popularity in nursing and healthcare research. It is concerned with studying people in their cultural context and how their behaviour, either as individuals or as part of a group, is influenced by this cultural context. Ethnography is a form of social research and has much in common with other forms of qualitative enquiry. While classical ethnography was characteristically concerned with describing ‘other’ cultures, contemporary ethnography has focused on settings nearer to home. This article outlines some of the underlying principles and practice of ethnography, and its potential for nursing and healthcare practice.

Nursing Standard. 29, 36,36-41. doi: 10.7748/ns.29.36.36.e8937


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Received: 02 March 2014

Accepted: 22 August 2014