Meet Agata Jalosinska, an anthropologist working in an interaction design research lab

Meet Ged Ridley
, who uses auto-ethnography and ethnography to better understand transgender people and their experiences of public bathrooms

Ethnography seeks to understand social phenomena and cultural practices from an ‘insider’ perspective through observation, note-taking, conversations, interviews, and participation. It typically involves a period of immersion (fieldwork) within a community or place and seeks to bring researchers into lived spaces through the fieldwork process. Ethnography has a long tradition within the social sciences, humanities and the arts, and ethnographic methods remain prominent within fields such as anthropology, sociology, and geography.

Historically, ethnographic methods were utilised by social anthropologists who sought to understand ‘foreign’ cultural practices. There is now a considerable critical literature exploring traditional ethnography as a colonial and racializing practice. Ethnographic methods are often combined with other research methods such as interviews, diary methods, life-story methods and surveys, however, are distinguished from these methods through their use of observation.


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