Three Models of Ethnographic Transparency: Naming Places, Naming People, and Sharing Data

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Description: Ethnographic research consists of multiple methodological approaches, including short- and/or long-term participant observation, interviews, photographs, videos, and group field work, to name a few. Yet, it is commonly practiced as a solitary endeavor and primary data is not often subject to scholarly scrutiny. In this paper, I suggest a model in which to understand the different ways in which ethnographies can be transparent—naming places, naming people, and sharing data—and the varied decisions ethnographers have made with regard to them: whether to name a region, city or specific neighborhood, name primary participants or public officials, and to share interview guides, transcripts, or different kinds of field notes. In doing so, this paper highlights how decisions regarding transparency are part of an ethnographer’s methodological toolkit, and should be made on a case-by-case basis depending on the who, what, where, when and why of our research.

License: CC0 1.0 Universal

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