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Ethnography is an anthropological approach that is specifically concerned with
observation of people in their natural environments.

It is a way of revealing ‘hidden’ truths and understanding cultures. And is usually
used to address a specific concern, or research a specific hypothesis.

It not only records behaviours but also analyses motivations and emotions.

In this way it is a useful tool to develop culturally understanding and also to help
develop ways of working that are suited to a group’s needs.

Gatekeepers and Key Informants


– Gatekeepers make access to information and group members easier (or harder). 
– Key Informants give away or withhold ‘privileged’ key information.


Types of Ethnography


– Overt or covert methodologies
– Real life observations or third party materials

Further Resources

Working with Essex County Counil, ThePublicOffice has been working to embed ethnographic approaches of deep, immersive listening to citizens.


Connected themes

Connected theories


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