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SAGE Publications
Ethnography: Step-by-Step / Edition 4

Ethnography: Step-by-Step / Edition 4

by David Fetterman
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David M. Fetterman captures the ethnographic imagination with the Fourth Edition of his popular text, Ethnography: Step-by-Step. He shares new case examples of his work to highlight the illuminating power of reflexivity and theory. The new edition expands the discussion of critical concepts such as culture, contextualization, emic and etic distinctions, and symbols. The book provides insights into the use of technology in ethnography from qualitative data analysis software to data visualization, and Questions for Reflection have been added to the end of each chapter. Fetterman is a seasoned educator, evidenced by both the clarity of his thinking and the simplicity of his writing.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781452255651
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Publication date: 10/23/2019
Series: Applied Social Research Methods , #17
Edition description: Fourth Edition
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

David M. Fetterman is the President and CEO of Fetterman & Associates, an international ethnographic and evaluation consultation firm. He works in a wide range of settings, ranging from townships in South Africa to Google in Silicon Valley. Clients and sponsors include: the U.S. Department of Education, W. K. Kellogg Foundation, Hewlett Foundation, Hewlett Packard Philanthropy, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and Arkansas Department of Education. David has also provided consultation services for the: Ministry of Education in Japan, Ministry of Health in Brazil, Ministry of Health in Ethiopia, and Te Puni Kokiri (Ministry of Māori Development) in New Zealand.
He concurrently serves as a member of the faculty at Pacifica Graduate Institute and the University of Charleston. Dr. Fetterman has over 25 years of experience at Stanford University. He was a Consulting Professor of Education in the School of Education and the Director of Evaluation in the School of Medicine at Stanford University. Formerly, he served as a Professor and Research Director at the California Institute of Integral Studies, Principal Research Scientist at the American Institutes for Research, and a Senior Associate and Project Director at RMC Research Corporation. He received his Ph D from Stanford University in educational and medical anthropology.

David is a past-president of the American Anthropological Association’s Council on Anthropology and Education and the American Evaluation Association. He is a Fellow of the American Anthropological Association and the Society for Applied Anthropology. David received the Top Anthropologist of the Year 2019 Award; George and Louise Spindler Award, for outstanding contributions to educational anthropology; and the Ethnographic Evaluation Award. He also received the Paul Lazarsfeld Award for Outstanding Contributions to Evaluation Theory and the Myrdal Award for Cumulative Contributions to Evaluation Practice—the American Evaluation Association’s highest honors.

Fetterman has contributed to a variety of encyclopedias and is the author of Ethnography: Step by Step; Excellence and Equality: A Qualitatively Different Perspective on Gifted and Talented Education; and Empowerment Evaluation in the Digital Villages: Hewlett-Packard’s $15 Million Race Toward Social Justice. Dr. Fetterman is the editor of: Ethnography in Educational Evaluation; Educational Evaluation: Ethnography in Theory, Practice, and Politics; Speaking the Language of Power: Communication, Collaboration, and Advocacy (translating ethnography into action); Qualitative Approaches to Evaluation in Education: The Silent Scientific Revolution; Empowerment Evaluation: Knowledge and Tools for Self-assessment, Evaluation Capacity Building, and Accountability; Empowerment Evaluation Principles in Practice; and Foundations of Empowerment. (Details of the projects are available at

Table of Contents

Appreciations to . . .
About the Author
Chapter 1: An Overview: The First Step
The Problem
Basic or Applied Role
Research Design: Fieldwork
Formal Analysis
The Ethnography
Book Organization
Chapter 2: Anthropological Concepts: Walking in Rhythm
Holistic Perspective
Emic Perspective and Multiple Realities
Etic Perspective
Nonjudgmental Orientation
Inter- and Intracultural Diversity
Structure and Function
Symbol and Ritual
Micro- or Macrolevel Study
Chapter 3: Methods and Techniques: A Wilderness Guide
Selection and Sampling
Participant Observation
Lists and Forms
Projective Techniques
Additional Eliciting Devices
Unobtrusive Measures
Chapter 4: Ethnographic Equipment: Gearing Up
Pen and Paper
Digital Voice Recorders
Smart Phones
Web Mapping Services
Database Software
Video Camera
Chapter 5: Analysis: Finding Your Way Through the Forest
Key Events
Organizational Charts
Content Analysis
Chapter 6: Writing: Recording the Miracle
Research Proposals
Field Notes
Field Note Organization
Interim Reports
Final Reports, Blogs, Data Visualizations, Articles, and Books
Thick Description and Verbatim Quotations
Ethnographic Present
Ethnographic Presence
Ethnographically Informed Reports
Revising and Editing
Chapter 7: Ethics: Walking Softly Through the Wilderness
Historical Context
The Ethnographer’s Role
Academic and Applied Ethnography
Research Life Cycle
Appendix: Organization of Field Notes