Ethnographic context meets ethnographic biography: a challenge for the mores of doing fieldwork

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Journal Article
International Journal of Multiple Research Approaches, 2011, 5 (5), pp. 155 - 168
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Research involves a complex network of universities, external funding bodies and industry, and researchers are increasingly faced with pressure to produce outcomes within tight temporal deadlines. This offers fresh challenges to research practice, including ethnographic research, which is traditionally based on long-term engagement in the field. This article details challenges to our ethnographic assumptions as a result of working on a highly time-bound video project in an Australian hospital. We frame the unexpected challenge to our latent ethnographic mores by forming a framework of two approaches to research: the descriptive-analytic approach and productive-reflexive approach. The article reveals how the unexpected foregrounding of our ethnographic mores played a critical role in questioning research practice. This article highlights the importance of researcher biography and the plurality and flexibility required of researchers in contemporary collaborative networks.
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