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Is Ethnography a Suitable method for Research on Residential Satisfaction and Community Participation Ethnography within its wider field of research is described as the study of peoples behaviour in terms of social contexts with emphasis on interaction in everyday situations Lindsay 1997 It is further defined as research that constitutes the art and science of describing a group or culture Fetterman 1989 However the specific definition that will be used throughout this work is that of its role within qualitative research which is summarised by Wainwright 1997 in his paper in The Qualitative Report stating that ethnography can be distinguished as the attempt to obtain an in-depth understanding of the meanings and definitions of the situation presented by informants rather than the quantitative measurement of their characteristics or behaviour pp1 The technique of ethnography is a holistic approach in order to achieve a complete and comprehensive picture of a social group Fetterman 1989 There are two main techniques within ethnography that is firstly interviews and secondly observational methods of participant and non-participant forms Goetz and LeCompte 1984 Hammersley 1990 Lindsay 1997 Wainwright 1997 This discussion aims to analyse ethnography as a method of qualitative research and discuss its usefulness in a research question based around residential satisfaction and community participation This will be achieved by analysing the main advantages and disadvantages of both methods of ethnography that of interviews and observation techniques with a holistic approach Hereafter assessment of the direct usefulness of the method relating explicitly to the two research variables of residential satisfaction and community participation An overall critique summary and conclusion will follow this on ethnographys context and suitability in such a study The first form of ethnographic research is interviews These are where a respondent is asked a number of questions by the interviewer and the interviewer records the answers Interviews can be of the in depth conversational type which are like guided conversations where the interviewer
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