Ethnographic Research: NSG Research 502: Week 7 Reply

Ethnographic Research: From Concepts to Practices in Understanding Immigrant Patients’ Psychiatric Nursing Care Experiences



Develop a hypothetical research scenario that would warrant the application of the ethnographic approach. What type of design would be best utilized along with this approach?

The ethnographic approach to research is a qualitative method where variables are observed in their native environment giving rise to richly detailed research outcomes that enable the researcher to discover and describe the complexities and shared cultural nuances of the observed social world and fully interpret its meaning (Jones & Smith, 2017).

When engaging in ethnographic research, the research can be overt or covert. In an overt study, the subjects are aware they are being studied, and this allows them to make choices on participation which is more ethical while in covert studies the reason for the researcher’s presence is not disclosed which might provide a more realistic view of the subjects but might be considered deceptive.

The degree to which the researcher interacts with subjects, actively or passively can also affect the results of the research. A researcher participating actively can disturb the normal functioning of the group, while a passive researcher could just observe or make the research subjects uncomfortable.




In Kallakorpi et al., (2019) using a focused ethnographic research approach to learn of the experiences of immigrant patients of psychiatric nursing care, researchers were able to have interviews with patients who were able to give detailed information on their experiences. Informed consent was obtained, and in-depth interviews were carried out to elicit information. Researchers were also able to observe the patients in the hospital to better understand the care environment and communal perspective.

The researchers were able to learn about the lives of the participants before admission, and their experiences as immigrants and with psychiatric care. Earlier experiences of trauma before immigration were found to have had the most impact on their mental health. Coupled with being uprooted from a familiar environment, language, culture, and prejudice. Using the ethnographic method, researchers, through observation and interviews were able to capture an in-depth view of the subjects’ experiences.


Gray, J. R., & Grove, S. K. (2021). Burns and Grove\’s The Practice of Nursing Research, 9th

Edition. Elsevier

Jones J, Smith J. (2017). Ethnography: Challenges and opportunities. Evidence-Based Nursing,

7(20), 98-100.

Kallakorpi, S., Haatainen, K., & Kankkunen, P. (2019). Psychiatric nursing care experiences of

immigrant patients: A Focused ethnographic study. International journal of mental health nursing, 28(1), 117-127.




I appreciate the information you provided in the initial discussion, which required you to develop a hypothetical research scenario that would warrant the application of the ethnographic approach and state the type of design that would be best utilized along with this approach. I have a feeling that most researchers lack sufficient knowledge about ethnographic research. Ploder & Hamann (2021) states that even the field of science studies has long ignored ethnographic practices. Therefore, it is important to discuss the topic.

I agree with your definition of ethnographic research: a qualitative method that entails observing variables in their native environment to provide detailed information to allow the researcher to understand the complexities and shared values of a cultural group. According to Sharma & Sarkar (2018), ethnography is one of the best qualitative research approaches, also called anthropology or naturalistic inquiry. The disciplinary origin of the ethnographic approach to research is anthropology.

The main aim of this response is to agree with your points in the initial discussion while providing new knowledge. Sharma & Sarkar (2018) states that there are different forms of ethnographic research such as life history ethnography research, confessional ethnography research, feminist ethnography research, realistic ethnography research, and critical ethnography.

The two most common types of ethnography research include realistic and critical ethnography research. According to Sharma & Sarkar (2018), realistic ethnography research is also called traditional ethnography research. Its main consideration is individual out of the group and that is why it is called the objective cum traditional cultural Ethnography study.

On the other hand, critical ethnography research focuses on groups of people who are marginalized in society. As the name suggests, the researcher here experiences many critical situations when interacting with the tribe and tribal community to collect useful information. According to Ploder & Hamann (2021), methods and practices of ethnographic research are closely related. Practices inform methods and methods inform practices.

Ethnographic research is the product of multiple practices. This type of research is a combination of observation, heating, handling objects, interviewing, recording, reading, and others. These practices can occur at all stages of the ethnographic research process as well as in a broad array of settings including data sessions, fieldwork sites, and others (Ploder & Hamann, 2021). All the practices are integral to the process that produces ethnography at the end. The advantage of ethnographic research is that it helps to determine and analyze unexpected issues.


Ploder, A., & Hamann, J. (2021). Practices of ethnographic research: Introduction to the special issue. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography50(1), 3-10.

Sharma, H. L., & Sarkar, C. (2018). Ethnography Research: An Overview. International Journal of Advance and Innovative Research Volume 6(2).