"In the midst..."

The view from the “vantage point” is what ethnography aims to provide. According to Shaffir, “hanging around” has been and can be the best advice for conducting such field work. Similar other terms have been coined or associated over time with ethnography to reveal what it truly is. “Aculturisation” is one such term, which means that one becomes a part of the culture which is being investigated. It involves “direct engagement”, interaction and integration into a system or culture. “Going behind the scenes” to conduct research can prove to be consistently interesting as it also involves being “present” and “participating” in the natural and daily activities of that which is being studied. The participatory aspect of this form of research consists of becoming something close to a “member” or part of the whole or even non member “participant-as-observer” (Stebbins)and "learning" the community or people or system practices. Of extreme importance is “fitting in”, as that is what makes those being studied to openly provide insights into their inner-workings. And acquiring “first-hand information" is no doubt valuable and can possibly reveal many unknown or unthought-of issues.

Even though ethnography can be regarded as one of the most in-depth of research methods, it does have several drawbacks: there lies the risk of over-participation and subsequent abandonment of unprejudiced work leading to a biased outcome; it is time consuming – not simply in conducting field work but in analysis as well; potentially expensive and therefore limited to considerably small scale research; lacking in range or breadth and so on. Hopefully, in my small range proposal, it does find a place and provide me with "truths" that can prove to be beneficial enough to answer the deadly “So What?”

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