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Author(s): Mark Griffiths

To cite this article: Griffiths, M. (2022) The Joy of Ethnography, Methodological approaches to research in youth work: Changing the paradigm, Youth Voice Journal, pp. 42-50. ISBN (ONLINE): 978-1-911634-42-3



This article looks at Ethnography and the methods which form this methodology – thick description, interview, and analysis. It outlines why I think Ethnography is an art and not a science and highlights why it is such an important tool in our research toolbox, particularly when it comes to research with young people and children. It suggests that of all the qualitative research methods, it is the most dependent on the character and skill of the researcher and particularly the researcher’s ability to see and not just look. It also points to Ethnography’s ongoing evolution, its step into self Ethnography and its perceived weaknesses. The closing section looks at examples of ethnographic studies and finally makes a case for Ethnography being a significant catalyst for change, whether that change is in groups, churches or institutions.

Keywords: Ethnography. Young People, Mission, Discipleship, Reflection

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