Reflection 4/15

This week in class we learned about ethnography and its role in the field of sociology. Ethnography is the study of people and cultures that is conducted from within the culture. The study examines the meaning systems of a group without judgement. The idea behind ethnography is for an ethnographer to recognize that they have inherent bias, and for the ethnographer to do their best to set aside this bias as they study different cultures. However, the benefit of inherent bias in ethnography is that when multiple ethnographies written by different ethnographer with different inherent biases are compared, new things can be learned about the culture studied as different viewpoints will emphasize different aspects of culture. So when multiple ethnographies are written about the same culture, the end result is a wider pool of information. Therefore, it is important to continue to study cultures that have already been observed, because there is always more that can be learned. Ethnography is one of the most informative, but also controversial aspects of sociology.