Outsider Ethnography

  • Your outsider (external) ethnography will be conducted according to the same guidelines as your insider ethnography.


  • You must identify a group (formal or informal) to study using the qualitative methodologies of participant-observation and/or interviewing. This must be a group that you do not belong to and know very little, or even nothing, about.
  • You may choose any group, on or off campus. Choose a group that meets at least once a week. A group that meets once a month will not provide you with enough data to do a proper ethnography.
  • If you are having trouble deciding on a group to research, you might think of “trading” groups with a member of our class, i.e., you do your outsider ethnography on their insider topic, and vice versa. This would give you an introduction to your outsider group and make the process of asking a group for their permission for your participant observation research less stressful.
  • UNLIKEyour insider ethnography, you must use concepts from our course to illuminate your data. Use and cite concepts, readings, and terms that are most relevant to your research group. The outsider ethnography will therefore require a bibliography section (not including in the word count).
  • You may include visual data, but that will not count for page length. E.g., if you have a screenshot of a photo of a gathering, and these take up one page of your ethnography, you still must have at least 1500 words.


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