Read Complete Research Material




I would take this opportunity to thank my research supervisor, family and friends for their support and guidance without which this research would not have been possible.


I, [type your full first names and surname here], declare that the contents of this dissertation/thesis represent my own unaided work, and that the dissertation/thesis has not previously been submitted for academic examination towards any qualification. Furthermore, it represents my own opinions and not necessarily those of the University.

Signed __________________ Date _________________


The first question clients ask me, when I introduce myself as an ethnographic researcher, is “what is ethnography?” At which point I throw the question back to them, “what do you think it is?” Some people seem to get confused between “ethno” and “ethnic”. Others think ethnography is a fancy name for videoing people while shopping. Most manage to make the connection between ethnography and “observational” research, but are not able to make the distinction between the different types of observational research.

In a discussion about ethnography, asking “what makes a good ethnographer?” is a good place to start. Contrary to wide-held belief, a good ethnographer is not someone who sits on the periphery of a social environment scribbling observations in a notebook, taking photographs and video footage of people when they are not looking. In fact, this sort of “fly-on-the-wall” observational approach is actually very limited, which makes it so surprising that it is the most commonly employed ethnographic method in market research. I compare it to looking at a body of water and trying to guess the temperature. You simply are not going to know the temperature until you dip your finger in. A good ethnographer is not a benign onlooker. A good ethnographer is someone who actively seeks to discover what it means to belong to a social group by employing a variety of methods.

In 1998, as part of a review (Grey Report, 1998) into problems of sexual harassment at the Australian Defense Force Academy, I was employed as a specialist ethnographic field researcher. The review team wanted to understand the cultural antecedents in the Cadet Corps that was leading to systematic and ritualized abuse in the academy amongst its cadets. The decision was taken for me to join the latest cadet intake as a new recruit and undergo a covert full-participant study of the cadet induction program spanning eight weeks. Across this period I had to live, breathe and actually become a cadet, using what spare time I had to write a blow by blow ethnographic journal of the experience. I rapidly felt myself losing all objectivity as I immersed myself in the task. In fact, this was the whole idea - to use me as human guinea pig to understand how the cadet socialization process impacted on my social-psychology; how and why conceptions of the self and of others changed and developed over the course of the induction process.

The study revealed that the academy's executive imposed enormous pressures on cadets to be unattainably perfect. If a single cadet in a ...
Related Ads