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What is ethnography?

Often associated with anthropology, ethnography is both a research method and a genre of writing.

As a method, it is characterised by long-term engagement with the field, and direct participation in the lives of the communities and individuals whose experiences and perspectives ethnographers seek to document.

As a genre, ethnography speaks the language of the ordinary and the everyday. It is a form of storytelling that documents dominant assumptions, but also questions and challenges them.

By learning from the ordinary, ethnography enables us to expand our vocabulary of the possible, the social, the moral, the cultural and the political. As such, it is not just a way of describing what is, it is a means of envisaging what can be.

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