As Jenna Hartel stated, the aim of ethnography is to understand the native perspective. This is interesting, because the ultimate goal is not to create new ideas, it is to understand THEIR ideas. So far, I’ve sort of contributed research to gaining new ideas for a multitude of issues. Therefore, when Hartel was discussing ethnography, this threw me off guard. Hartel stated that the EMIC perspective (insider perspective) is trying to capture/document their perspective. Whereas the ETIC perspective (outsider) is much different. The outsider needs to bracket their concepts to allow for the subject’s story to come out. The interesting example of the following was given: When conducting ethnography on some aspect pertaining to library use, if the subject does not bring up the notion of library use (or the particular thing you’re interested in), you shouldn’t ask about it. This is crazy to me! What’s the point of conducting research when you can’t even get at what you’re interested in. However, when you look at it from the broader view, you can understand how this would be a form of research in itself. It could mean something very important that the subject did not mention library use (or the topic you’re interested in). Rather than forcing it on them, you need to understand THEIR perspective, and this would be THEIR perspective.
Verstehen: Understanding the meaning of action from the actor’s point of view. It’s entering into the shoes of the other, and adopting this research stance that treats the actor as a subject, rather than an object of your observations.
This definition ties this up very nicely. Furthermore, I’d be very interested to see how I would act while in the field. As of right now, I definitely do not have enough experience to perform a true ethnographic research study. I need to take the time to understand this form of research much further before entering the field in this manner.