Handbook of Theory and Methods in Applied Health Research
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Handbook of Theory and Methods in Applied Health Research

Questions, Methods and Choices

Edited by Catherine Walshe and Sarah Brearley

This Handbook expertly instructs the reader on how to conduct applied health research across a number of disciplines. Particularly aimed at postgraduate health researchers and students of applied health research, it presents and explains a wide range of research designs and other contemporary issues in applied health research.
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Chapter 5: Ethnography in applied health research

Michaela Edwards


In this chapter a brief history of the rise of ethnographic approaches in the social sciences is outlined, in order to explore what these types of approach entail and how they have become more relevant to the study of aspects of modern societies. Some of the varied ontological and philosophical approaches that have underpinned ethnography are highlighted, to demonstrate the many different ways in which it can be employed. The recent use of focused ethnographies in the study of health and medicine is also explored. The chapter then investigates how ethnographic approaches can be practically carried out.

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