Week 9 – Some Concerns for Research Proposal…

I decided to focus this blog post on one of my concerns for the research proposal, which is deciding on the one method I will be discussing in the proposal. After Jenna Hartel’s lecture on ethnography, I felt that a lot of what I wanted to do related back to this lecture, especially when she talked about the six tenets of ethnography. One tenet that stuck with me afterwards was that “discovery occurs via multiple field methods and is emergent” (Hartel, 2013) and then she provided a list of methods that have been used in ethnographic research. Now, I originally wanted my methods to consist of observations and interviews, which I initially thought of as two separate methods that would produce different kinds of data, yet, Jenna provided both of them in the list, along with a number of other methods. So, this got me questioning whether I should be doing ethnographic research with these methods or not. I looked at the other tenets to see if this is the kind of research I would like to do with my topic in mind. However, the more I think about it, the more fearful I am in using this approach, especially since I am unsure if my topic and research question fits with this approach.

As these ideas and concerns are dwelling in my mind, I find that I am leaning towards to discussing one method in the proposal, which is interviewing. I do not want my methods and methodology to be too complicated, nor would I want the research process to be an inconvenience to those who are involved, specifically the participants. So, I think by keeping it simple and straightforward, it will allow for productive data to come through out of this one method.

Are any of you considering in doing ethnography and discussing this in your proposal? Does anyone have similar anxieties or concerns about using this approach?


Hartel, J. (2013). Introduction to ethnography [PowerPoint Slides]. Retrieved from University of Toronto Research Methods Blackboard Web site. 


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