Ethnography: A stepwise approach for primary care researchers

William B. Ventres, Richard M. Frankel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Scopus citations


Ethnography is a research method borrowed from cultural anthropology and a disciplined method for understanding human conduct. It is a valid alternative to quantitative methods for primary care researchers. This article reviews the defining principles of ethnographic research, which uses principally observational methods to study actions and events that exist in natural situations. It is the job of ethnographic researchers to establish and frame their observations from the point of view of the people under observation. We present five steps fundamental to the development of an ethnographic research plan and a research case study that demonstrates the use of ethnography by a family physician.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-56
Number of pages5
JournalFamily medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice

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