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Student
Title
Supervisor
Faculty
Educational Programme
Final Grade
Year of Graduation
Larisa Barkhatova
Methodological and Ethical Issues in Ethnographic Fieldwork
Sociology
(Bachelor’s programme)
2017
The research situations of studying contemporary cultures can be characterized by the blurring of traditional principles of ethnographic research. Ethnographic observation of usual social practices under time constraints forces sociologists to revise their research tools.

The study is aimed at generalizing the research experience of ethnographic studying a today’s Russian society. Based on 13 in-depth interviews with renowned Russian sociologists, the analysis of research problem solving practices related to the ethnographic "field" in the Russian context was conducted.

It was found that the personal connections of a research team are the key channel for data access in Russia. The work showed that the acquaintance with problems of the community under study, the demonstration of cooperation and the emphasis on identity are the main research techniques of Russian sociologists in their ethnographic fieldwork. Besides, within the framework of the study, a typology of the researchers’ roles in the ethnographic "field" was proposed. Unlike a J. Spradley's typology of field roles, distinguished by a criterion of researcher’s involvement in the situation of observation, the typology presented is based on how a sociologist identifies his own position in the field.

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