Ethnography is an approach to studying the social and cultural norms, mores, values and beliefs, of a group of people. Ethnography stipulates the use of primarily qualitative research methods, to learn about such sensitive topics as substance abuse and sexual behaviour since such topics are reliably captured by survey approaches.

Some of the methods used in the 36 urban slum communities of Chennai for a rapid research ethnographic study include:

  • Participant observation: allows for the collection of behavioural data that people may take for granted so much that they find it difficult to explain in an interview. It also provides the basis from which to question, probe and clarify interview and focus group responses that contradict with what was observed.
  • Focus groups: are generally viewed as a method with strengths in eliciting normative data and generating broad sweep overviews of the issue of concern to the cultural groups or sub groups represented in the focus group.
  • Individual Interviews: are considered as the optimal choice of collecting data on personal histories and experiences, particularly on sensitive topics.
  • Stage
    Participant observations
    Focus group discussions
    In-depth Interviews
    Intervention Field group Training
    Pilot Component testing
  • Ethnography
  • Ethnography II
  • Wine shop study
  • Intervention