To prepare for fieldwork, an ethnographer will typically?


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Deborah Mann answered
An ethnographer's fieldwork is also called field study or a case report. The latter description makes it easier to understand what things an ethnographer typically does in order to prepare.

Because they collect a variety of different data, their preparation very much depends on what study is about to be done. For example, they conduct interviews, ask people to fill in questionnaires and observe human behavior, so they will do the preparation that is pertinent to that particular activity.

  • What is ethnography?
Ethnography is often used in social sciences, particularly anthropology but also in some areas of sociology, and historical science, and is referred to as the science of contextualization. 

These other sciences study all aspects of people such as their ethnicity, where they settle, the characteristics of their social welfare and their religious and spiritual culture, for example, by collecting empirical data.

Ethnography paves the way for these sciences by making detailed description of the people that are to be studied.

  • Can ethnography be relied on?
The trouble with collecting the kind of data that is necessary to create accurate studies of this nature is that sometimes the reliability of the evidence can sometimes be questioned.

This is sometimes the fault of the ethnographer and sometimes the fault of the person being interviewed or questioned, but both faults are the result of human nature, which is ironic.

Interviewing techniques and questions have to be delivered in a way that does not influence or bias the result. For example, if an interviewee knows why they are being questioned, they will temper their answers to that end, even if it is subconsciously, which can have a direct impact on the results of the study.

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