Poster abstract- Is applied research a recipe for bad ethnography?

Ethnography, a research method and writing style most commonly associated with anthropology, provides valuable insight into human societies. A strong understanding of the social world is important for ethical and productive social policy, however there are specific methodological and ethical issues that come with an applied project utilising ethnographic methods.

This poster draws on the social systems theory of Niklas Luhman and the field theory of Pierre Bourdieu to offer two diagrammatic representations of why an ethnographic project may be feasible in name but not practice in applied social work research. Short field work antidotes from a project looking at social interaction in a suburb suggest that, while ethnographic methods may not be embraced in an applied school, perhaps it is applied research, rather than ethnography, which is calling out for change.

Above is the poster abstract I just emailed off for the Melbourne School of Health Sciences Graduate Research Colloquium. We were told that a poster is compulsory, and posters are a little outside my understanding so it is probably good that I am being forced to make one as I probably would not otherwise.


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