Institutional Ethnography

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An introduction to institutional ethnography (research method).

Transcript of Institutional Ethnography

  • Institutional Ethnography

    The hood where experience counts.

    A research madness method presentation by K.SoPCOM 621 Royal Roads University

  • Institutional ethnography dissected

    "Institution", within institutional ethnography, refers to complexes of activity organized around a distinctive function such as the law or education or international development.

    Ethnography is a well-known approach to studying everyday life in its natural state.

    Institutional ethnographers share techniques of observation, talking to people, formal interviews, and so on with other ethnographers.

  • Institutional ethnography dissected


    IE differs from other forms of ethnography

    because it addresses a key feature of

    contemporary life that other researchers take

    for granted and ignore

    IE researchers notice that human lives are

    shaped by social relations of coordination and

    control that we cannot understand or perhaps

    even see from within the scope of local


  • Institutional ethnography dissected

    IE research must move outside the local setting

    (where ethnographic fieldwork is conducted)

    and explore how the social is "put together" in

    the way that people experience it.

  • Institutional ethnography defined (finally)

    Institutional ethnography explores how the

    coordination of people (and ideas and plans

    and so on) through the institution's discursively

    organized practices, working across time and

    geographic spaces functions by learning from

    people who are experienced in the coordination

    (coordinator or those being coordinated) in the


  • Its like conducting a

    study to learn about

    the function of a

    maze by asking lab

    rats about the

    conduct, rules and

    structure of the maze.

    In other words

  • Inquiry in institutional ethnography is framed as much as possible without relying on academic theories, professional language and discourse, or administrative terms and categories.

    Rather, we proceed from what people know about their lives, what they actually do everyday, and how they express this knowing and doing in their own terms.

    Institutional Ethnography

    TheoryAcademic/ scientific lingo



    Cognitive Dissonance Theory

  • Feminist approach to knowledge

    Originated with Dorothy E. Smith in 1987

    Developed for use in sociology

    IE has not been used in communication research


    IE is used to often times examine the power and social

    relations in research.

    IE: History

  • Institutional


    For more information on this research

    method, please visit the class wiki.