Some research question(s) cannot be answered by consulting print or Internet sources.
Field research allows you to generate knowledge that otherwise would not exist.
When conducting an ethnography, the researcher closely observes the key informants in a particular culture because they tend to define the qualities of their group. When choosing key informants, you may not necessarily want to select group leaders.
Other members of the community may serve as more effective key informants because they are more accessible or more willing to share information or more observant.
Even though rituals frequently involve the use of artifacts, the ritual itself is an activity.
Because rituals and customs are behaviors, they are sometimes more difficult to describe and analyze than artifacts.An ethnographic approach can be particularly appropriate for short-term projects like the ones assigned in a relatively brief college courses.Even though some professional ethnographies last for years, studies with a limited scope can be conducted in a matter of weeks.Enhance your interpretive skills by learning about the culture before visiting, perhaps by reading other researchers' ethnographic accounts of the culture.Ethnographers vehemently disagree about the degree to which library research must support field study.These artifacts provide a great deal of information about ancient civilizations and help to recreate a picture of what life was like for these people.Enhance your ethnographic interpretation by identifying and observing customs and rituals that members of the community routinely perform.This section introduces three common modes of conducting field research: Ethnography involves studying a specific culture or community.By living among the members of a culture and playing the role of participant-observer, ethnographers attempt to define the beliefs, rituals, symbols, problems, and patterns of behavior that distinguish this culture from other dominant cultures.Unlike artifacts, rituals and customs are not physical objects that can be held in one's hands and described according to their shape and function.Rituals are activities that people perform according to a predetermined pattern.