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BSOE-144: Reading Ethnographies

BSOE-144: Reading Ethnographies

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2023-24

If you are looking for BSOE-144 IGNOU Solved Assignment solution for the subject Reading Ethnographies, you have come to the right place. BSOE-144 solution on this page applies to 2023-24 session students studying in BASOH, BSCANH courses of IGNOU.

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Assignment Code: BSOE-144/ASST /TMA /2023-24

Course Code: BSOE –144

Assignment Name: Reading Ethnographies

Year: 2023-24

Verification Status: Verified by Professor

Assignment - I

Answer the following in about 500 words each.

Q1) What is Ethnography? Explain the pre-requisites of writing Ethnography.

Ans) Ethnography is a qualitative research method employed in anthropology, sociology, and other social sciences. It involves the in-depth study and description of a particular culture or social group, aiming to understand the nuances of their behaviours, beliefs, practices, and social interactions.

Ethnographers immerse themselves in the community they study, conducting participant observation, interviews, and collecting various forms of qualitative data to gain insights into the social and cultural context.

Prerequisites of Writing Ethnography:

a) Research Question and Focus: Before beginning ethnographic research, a clear research question or focus must be identified. It guides the study and guarantees that the ethnographer has a specific interest in the community or culture.

b) Cultural Sensitivity and Reflexivity: Ethnographers must be culturally sensitive and reflexive, recognizing their own biases, values, and cultural background. Reflexivity involves constant self-awareness to minimize the impact of the researcher's perspective on the interpretation of data.

c) Access and Rapport: Establishing access to the community or group under study is crucial. Building rapport and trust with the participants is essential for gaining entry and permission to conduct research. Ethnographers often engage in participant observation, embedding themselves in the community's daily life.

d) Informed Consent: Ethical considerations are paramount. Ethnographers must obtain informed consent from participants, explaining the nature of the research, its purpose, and any potential impacts. Confidentiality and the right to withdraw from the study should be communicated clearly.

e) Fieldwork Planning: Planning the logistics of fieldwork is crucial. This includes determining the duration of the study, identifying key informants, selecting research sites, and arranging accommodation. Adequate preparation ensures the smooth execution of the ethnographic study.

f) Language Proficiency: Proficiency in the language spoken by the community being studied is vital. Communicating effectively in the local language facilitates understanding and builds trust. It allows ethnographers to capture nuances in expressions, meanings, and cultural subtleties.

g) Participant Observation: Ethnography relies heavily on participant observation, where the researcher actively engages in the daily lives and activities of the community. This immersive approach helps in understanding the cultural context, social dynamics, and behavioral patterns.

h) Interviewing Skills: Ethnographers must possess effective interviewing skills to gather information from participants. This includes the ability to formulate open-ended questions, active listening, and adapting the interview style to the cultural norms of the community.

i) Triangulation of Data: To enhance the credibility and reliability of findings, ethnographers use triangulation. This involves collecting data from multiple sources and methods, such as interviews, observations, and document analysis, to corroborate and validate findings.

j) Cultural Analysis: Ethnographers are responsible for doing in-depth cultural analysis, which involves analysing observed behaviours and social activities within the framework of the culture. The purpose of this is to provide a full understanding of the community's way of life by deciphering the symbols, rituals, and traditions employed by the group.

k) Writing Skills: It is crucial to have the capacity to express findings in a way that is not only clear and coherent but also engaging. Ethnographers are required to have great writing abilities in order to effectively communicate the depth of their observations and analyses in a manner that is understandable to the audience they are researching.

Q2) Discuss various steps of conducting scientific ethnographic research.

Ans) In order to conduct scientific ethnographic research, one must take a methodical and in-depth approach to the study of a specific social group or culture. Due to the nature of the process, meticulous planning, ethical concerns, and a dedication to gaining an in-depth understanding are all required.

Defining Research Questions:

The research process begins with clearly defining research questions or objectives. These questions guide the study and help in focusing on specific aspects of the culture or social group under investigation.

Literature Review:

Conducting a thorough literature review is essential to understand existing scholarship and relevant theories. This step helps the ethnographer build a theoretical framework and identify gaps in existing knowledge.

Selection of Research Site:

Choosing the appropriate research site is critical. Ethnographers need to identify a community or setting that aligns with the research questions. Access, permission, and cultural relevance are considerations in selecting the research site.

Establishing Rapport:

Building trust and rapport with the community or group being studied is paramount. Ethnographers engage in social interactions, participate in daily activities, and communicate openly to gain acceptance and access to the community.

Informed Consent:

Ethical considerations are crucial in ethnographic research. Obtaining informed consent from participants involves explaining the purpose of the study, potential risks, confidentiality, and the right to withdraw from the research.

Participant Observation:

Immersive participant observation is a hallmark of ethnography. Ethnographers actively engage in the daily lives and routines of the community, recording observations, interactions, and behaviors. This approach provides a holistic understanding of the cultural context.

Field Notes and Data Collection:

Ethnographers maintain detailed field notes, documenting observations, conversations, and cultural practices. These notes serve as the primary data source and provide a rich description of the community's social life.


Conducting interviews is a key method for collecting qualitative data. Ethnographers use open-ended and semi-structured interviews to explore participants' perspectives, experiences, and beliefs. Interviews complement participant observation by offering in-depth insights.


Ethnographers employ triangulation by collecting data from multiple sources and methods. This includes combining observations, interviews, document analysis, and other sources to enhance the credibility and reliability of findings.


Ethnographers engage in reflexivity, critically reflecting on their own biases, perspectives, and cultural background. Recognizing and addressing the researcher's influence on the study helps ensure a more objective and nuanced interpretation of data.

Data Analysis:

Analyzing ethnographic data involves identifying patterns, themes, and cultural meanings. Ethnographers use qualitative analysis methods, such as thematic coding or narrative analysis, to make sense of the collected data.

Writing Ethnographic Reports:

The final step involves synthesizing findings into a comprehensive ethnographic report. Ethnographers use descriptive narratives, quotes, and analysis to convey the richness of the cultural context. The report should address the research questions, theoretical framework, and contribute to the broader scholarly conversation.

Peer Review and Publication:

The validation and inspection of ethnographic research is accomplished through the process of peer review. Through the submission of their work to scholarly journals for publication, researchers have the opportunity to contribute to the academic discourse in their particular domains.

Assignment – II

Answer the following questions in about 250 words each.

Q3) What is virtual Ethnography?

Ans) Online ethnography, often known as virtual ethnography, is a qualitative research method that examines social phenomena in virtual environments. Virtual ethnography examines culture, behaviour, and relationships online.

Online Communities:

Online communities, forums, social media, and virtual worlds are studied in virtual ethnography. Researchers study social dynamics in these digital areas.

Data Collection:

Virtual ethnography uses participant observation, online interviews, digital artefact content analysis, and community participation to collect data. Online community rules, customs, and social structures are studied by researchers.

Ethical Considerations:

Virtual ethnography must consider informed consent and privacy. Researchers must be responsible online and respect participants' rights and anonymity.

Digital Literacy:

Virtual ethnographers must be tech-savvy and familiar with their tools. Know the intricacies of internet communication, memes, emoticons, and other digital expressions.

Temporal Aspects:

Online interactions are asynchronous and synchronous, adding temporal features to virtual ethnography. Due to varying activity patterns in online communities, researchers must consider observation and interaction timing.

Global Reach:

Virtual ethnography enables researchers to study global online communities, transcending geographical boundaries. This approach provides insights into cross-cultural interactions and the formation of digital subcultures.


Challenges in virtual ethnography include issues of representation, the fluidity of online identities, and the potential for misinterpretation. Researchers must navigate these challenges to ensure the validity and reliability of their findings.


Virtual ethnography offers advantages such as cost-effectiveness, accessibility to diverse online communities, and the ability to capture dynamic interactions in real-time. It also allows for a reflexive exploration of the digital ethnographer's role in shaping the research process.

Q4) What are the main areas covered by the book Street Corner Society?

Ans) William Foote Whyte's "Street Corner Society" is an urban sociology classic. The 1943 book is based on Whyte's late 1930s ethnographic research in Boston's North End's Italian-American neighbourhood.

Social Organization:

Whyte examines the social organization of the neighborhood, focusing on the dynamics of relationships, social networks, and the formation of informal groups.

Street Corner Culture:

The title represents the book's main theme—street corners as social spaces and street corner culture. Whyte examines these nooks' rituals, talks, and social interactions..

Juvenile Gangs:

A significant portion of the book is dedicated to the study of juvenile gangs in the North End. Whyte delves into the formation, activities, and social roles of these gangs, providing insights into the lives of young individuals in an urban setting.

Work and Economy:

"Street Corner Society" delves into the economic activities of the community, including the types of work available, the informal economy, and the impact of economic conditions on residents.

Social Stratification:

Whyte examines how race, social class, and locality affect people's lives and prospects.

Informal Social Control:

The book investigates the mechanisms of informal social control within the neighborhood. It explores how community norms, values, and peer pressure shape behavior and maintain order.

Ethnic Relations:

The study emphasises ethnicity. Whyte explores neighbourhood Italian-American-ethnic ties to understand intergroup relations.

Research Methodology:

"Street Corner Society" contributes to the field of sociology by providing an in-depth look at the challenges and methodologies of conducting ethnographic research in an urban setting. Whyte reflects on the role of the researcher and the ethical considerations involved in such studies.

Q5) What do you understand by scientific approach?

Ans) The scientific approach is a systematic and empirical method of inquiry that aims to acquire knowledge and understanding through careful observation, experimentation, and logical reasoning. It is characterized by its commitment to objectivity, precision, and replicability.

a) Empirical Observation: Experimental evidence from direct observation or measurement underpins scientific research. This guarantees conclusions are founded on real-world phenomena, not speculation or subjectivity.

b) Systematic Inquiry: The scientific method is systematic. Step-by-step, researchers create hypotheses, design experiments, gather data, and analyse results.

c) Hypothesis Testing: Scientists generate and test hypotheses, which are explicit, testable predictions or claims that can be confirmed or disproved by empirical data

d) Reproducibility: Scientific findings should be reproducible, meaning that other researchers should be able to replicate the experiment and obtain similar results. Reproducibility enhances the credibility and reliability of scientific knowledge.

e) Objectivity: Scientists strive for objectivity, minimizing personal biases and subjective interpretations in the collection and analysis of data. Peer review and collaboration contribute to this objectivity.

f) Logical Reasoning: The scientific approach employs logical reasoning and critical thinking to draw conclusions from data. It involves the use of deductive and inductive reasoning to make sense of observations and test hypotheses.

g) Openness to Revision: Scientific understanding evolves with new evidence. Based on better data, scientists are willing to change or dismiss beliefs.

h) Generalizability: A study's conclusions should be generalizable to a larger population or context than the experiment's settings.

i) Quantification: Quantifying variables and using statistical analysis are common in scientific studies. This enables for more objective and rigorous variable relationships analysis.

Assignment – III

Answer the following questions in about 100 words each.

Q6) Describe various roles of the leader?

Ans) Leaders play diverse roles within an organization, influencing its direction and fostering success.

a) Visionary: Leaders articulate a compelling vision, inspiring others toward a common goal.

b) Strategist: They formulate and implement effective strategies to achieve organizational objectives.

c) Decision-Maker: Leaders make critical decisions, guiding the team with sound judgment.

d) Motivator: Leaders inspire and motivate team members, fostering a positive and productive work environment.

e) Communicator: Effective communication matters. Leaders communicate expectations, ideas, and feedback.

f) Coach and Mentor: Leaders mentor team members to maximise their potential.

g) Problem Solver: They solve issues with creative solutions.

h) Role Model: Leaders model organisational ideals and behaviours.

Q7) What is Online Ethnography?

Ans) An approach to qualitative research known as online ethnography, also known as virtual ethnography, is a method that investigates and analyses social interactions, behaviours, and cultures that take place within digital or virtual settings. In order to observe, participate in, and get an understanding of the dynamics of the virtual environment, researchers immerse themselves in online communities, forums, social media platforms, or virtual worlds.

An investigation into the intricacies of online interactions, identities, and communities is possible through the use of a method known as online ethnography. This is achieved through participant observation, interviews, and digital artefact content analysis. One can better comprehend digital social dynamics with this technique.

Q8) What do you understand by political structure?

Ans) Political structure refers to the organizational framework and institutions that shape the distribution and exercise of political power within a society or government. It encompasses the arrangements and relationships among institutions like the executive, legislative, and judicial branches, as well as political parties, electoral systems, and administrative bodies.

The political structure defines how decisions are made, laws are enacted, and authority is distributed. The character of governance, representation, and the operation of a political system are all significantly impacted by it, making it an extremely important factor. There are many different political structures that can be found in democracies, monarchies, and totalitarian regimes.

Q9) Which are the prominent castes that the Coorgs interact with?

Ans) Coorgs, also known as Kodavas, primarily interact with various castes within the Indian state of Karnataka.

a) Kodagu Gowdas: The indigenous agricultural community in Kodagu, which is frequently connected with the traditional mode of economic activity and agricultural techniques.

b) Are Bashe: A significant Muslim community in Coorg with whom the Coorgs have historical interactions.

c) Kodagu Heggade: A community engaged in temple administration and associated with religious practices in the region.

d) Amma Kodava: A distinct community with specific cultural practices and roles within the Kodava society.

Q10) What is Continuous Globalization?

Ans) Continuous globalization refers to the ongoing, uninterrupted process of increasing interconnectedness and interdependence among countries and regions worldwide. It involves the continual flow of goods, services, information, technology, and capital across national borders. Continuous globalization is characterized by the sustained expansion of international trade, communication networks, and cultural exchange.

This phenomenon is facilitated by advancements in technology, transportation, and communication, making the world more interconnected and integrated economically, socially, and culturally. Ongoing globalisation has significant repercussions for economies, society, and individuals. It has an impact on a wide range of aspects, including corporate practises, cultural interaction, and the dynamics of geopolitical order. 

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