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Ethnographic Approach Assignment Sample

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Ethnographic Approach Assignment Sample

PART 1 - Essay


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The ethnographic approach refers to studying the subject by being part of that subject (Brownlow p.250). Hence, the main aim of this essay is to highlight the ethnographic approach by discussing characteristics of the approach, the uses, and how it is used to study children and young people's friendships. There is also an argument presented on the effectiveness of the ethnographic approach by highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of the ethnographic approach and then comparing it with the other method of research such as the qualitative method. This essay has been signposted on the benefits of the ethnographic approach over the other methods such as qualitative methods which include interviews and collection of relevant documents to study the subject.

Characteristic of an ethnographic approach

The ethnographic approach is mainly characterized by collecting the data through interviews, conversation as well as observation. Also, It is attributed by examining and studying the behavior daily rather than on an experimental basis. There is data collection in the early phase so that the issue can arise gradually through the process. Finally, it is mainly characterized by an in-depth study of the situations which can be mostly one or two (Brownlow p.252).

Uses of Ethnographic approach

Ethnography has been used to study the friendship among the children by being a member of the group and observing the behavior of the children while being in the group for more than a month or a year (Brownlow p.252). And, since the researchers are also a member of the group which they are observing or studying, they will become accustomed to the values and cultures that are being prevailed in the group hence making it difficult to show what is going on in the group (Brownlow p.250). This detailed analysis would not have been possible in another approach of observing the children by being the outsider.

Ethnographic approach – A more detailed analysis of children friendship

Using the ethnographic approach, the researcher can learn more about the friendship and how they describe their friendship is completely intangible and difficult especially for children belonging from a younger group (Brownlow p.250). Using this approach, the researcher also identified that the feelings and reaction change for one child if his or her friend play with someone else and that child has an eagerness to know if they both are still friends. Hence, showing regard and concerns for each other in their earlier years as well.

Benefits of an ethnographic approach

One of the benefits of using the ethnographic approach in studying the friendship of the children is that this method helps in gathering complex and detailed information or data. Also, this method helps the researchers in getting the first-hand reactions and the behavior of the children can be known in much detailed way by observing the children and their behavior through this approach. Furthermore, through this approach the researchers can get into the children group which is however is not an easy task (Brownlow p.253). Since the researchers are physically bigger than the children, the children often perceive them as a guardian. Therefore, to blend in with the society of the student, there has been improvisation in the methods. As mentioned in chapter 6, there can be another approach in the ethnographic where the researcher can watch the group of the children from a distance and wait for them to approach the researchers to be a member of the group.

Limitations of using an ethnographic approach

One of the limitations of this approach is that it is time-consuming to study friendship in children; a considerable amount of time is required to be in the world of children's friendship and observe their behavior which can be days or months, or even a year. Also, to study the complex behavior of the children, the ethnographic approach requires a well-trained researcher and has a certain degree of patience and a deeper understanding to understand the behavior of the children (Brownlow p.251). Furthermore, this study depends on the relationship between the researcher and his subjects. If the researcher develops friendly relations with the children then only he can have a more in-depth analysis of the behavior of the children.

Other methods for studying children friendships

There are also various methods to study children's friendships including qualitative research methods which include interviews as well as textual data which seeks to understand the friendship through the perspective of the individual. One of the major weaknesses of the alternative method is it leads to misleading findings (Brownlow p.248). Also, it is not enough for study related to a large number of population. However, it has also a few strong points to consider. Qualitative research can capture any variance in the attitude of the subject. In the case of friendship in children, their behavior can be captured efficiently with the alternative approach. Also, it is a very flexible approach. For example, the researcher studying the behavior of the children can change the question that is to be asked in an interview.

Hence, it can be said that the techniques or the methods used for studying the behavior of the children and their friendships are ethnographic approaches or through a qualitative approach. In my opinion, the ethnographic approach is an effective way to study the behavior of the children in their friend's circle as it involves a close view of their behavior rather than interviewing them or studying their behavior by observing them as an outsider.

PART 2 – Project Report

DE100 project is about a team who are launching an educational internet TV channel called DE100 IPTV. After designing the logo, the module team wants to evaluate whether the principle evaluative conditioning can be used to make the logo attractive to the audience. The project has been based on the study by Chen, Lin, and Hsiao (2012) who found the participants reporting more likes for the game that is promoted using celebrity pictures as compared to which is not promoted with celebrity pictures (The Open University, 2022).


The logo is DE100IPTV have designed with a picture of Happy students celebrating their graduation day. It is further assumed that the happy pictures will be seen positively by people taking part in the study. Through combining the DE100IPTV it is hoped that the participant will link the positive aspects of the graduate students with the logo and hence like the logo more than if otherwise (The Open University, 2022). While in controlled condition logo will be paired with the neutral image of everyday household objects.

Independent variable – the type of image paired with DE100 logo

Dependent variable – whether or not participants like the logo of DE100IPTV after viewing the slideshow.


32 people participated in the experiment out of which 18 were male and 14 were female and the mean age was 23.4. the youngest participant was 19 and the oldest was 34. They were recruited through advertising placed on the notice board in the supermarkets in the East Midlands and all the participant was EU driver license holder and the rate of use of their computer games are occasional. Nobody had any experience playing Road Mayhem III or Eloquence (The Open University, 2022).

DE100 Project Data Collection - Materials

The materials used in this project experiment are the slide show files which can be accessed directly from the module websites where full-screen view must be selected before playing and for this option, there must be a broadband connection. There is also a downloaded copy of the slide files from the module files which can be played in separate media players which can be used if the internet connection is not stable. Other equipment such as a computer or other devices such as phones or tablets can be used if it is capable to play the slideshow. There are a few documents that were required during the experiment which are briefing sheets and instructions, consent forms, response sheets, and debriefing sheets (The Open University, 2022).

DE100 Project Procedure section

  • Read the participant the description of the study and ask them if they have any questions
  • Give them a copy of the informed consent form to read and sign
  • Read them the instructions for the experiment
  • Play one of the slides video to them
  • Ask the participants 'Do you like this Logo? The only option is "Yes" or "No"' and show them the picture of the IPTV logo that is on the response sheet
  • Record their responses on the response sheet and note which condition they completed
  • Ask them their gender and age (which are needed because it is important to report basic information about who participants were
  • Read them the text from the debriefing sheet and answer any question they have
  • Thank them for their participation (The Open University, 2022)


To conclude, the ethnographic approach is one of the methods which is highly suitable for studying friendship in children and young people as it involves studying the people by being part of their group which further provides the researcher with in-depth knowledge and analysis of the subject matter such as the behavior of children and the young people in their friend's circles.

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