MECP 610: Home, Community, Work Analysis

This library guide will provide an introduction to library resources and research approaches for MECP 610. "Home, Community, Work Analysis" is the second course in the Multicultural Education Certificate program (MECP)

Make a Plan

As described in your syllabus, you will need to identify 3-4 academic journal articles that help you understand how the scholars use ethnography as a methodology to study an issue or phenomenon. From there you will create an annotated bibliography.

Before you jump into searching, make a simple plan.

You will end up going back and forth in between steps in this plan, and that is normal.

  • Step 1: Write down your research questions. In this case, one may be as simple as "what ethnographic studies are there in my area?"
  • Step 2: Decide where you will search. See the Find Articles page for a list of databases to start with.
  • Step 3: Develop keywords to search. Need some more help on this? See the Search Strategies page. You can also contact a librarian if you need additional guidance. 
  • (At any point): Choose how you will save your progress. Where will you keep your citations? Do you want to use a citation manager?

Searching for Ethnographies

It is an advanced research skill to be able to search for published research that uses specific qualitative methods. There is no guarantee that a database will offer an easy box to click that filters for "ethnographies/ethnographic methods."

Occasionally, databases may offer the option to narrow a search to "case studies;" but, remember that case studies and ethnographies are different things. They are closely related, though.

If you are unsure if a case study that uses ethnographic methods belongs in your annotated bibliography, double-check with your professor! 

What if the databases retrieve few results from searching "ethnography (or ethnographies or ethnograph*)"?

Break your search down into the component parts of an ethnography.

For example, try searching for:

  • "Interview*" or
  • "Participant observation"

You may find an article where researchers used interviews to conduct an ethnography. Be sure to read the methodology sections to make sure the researchers describe their work as ethnographic. 

Ethnography vs Case Studies

In the guide Key Concepts in Ethnography (2009), Karen O'Reilly describes a case study:

A case study investigates a few cases, or often just one case, in considerable depth. In ethnography, case studies are used in various ways to illuminate themes or draw inferences...

A case study can be of a person, a group, an event, an institution, or even a process. It is used in all sorts of fields such as psychology, social work, and legal and detective work.

Types of Qualitative Research

Social scientist Dr. David Dunaetz explains the differences between types of qualitative research: ethnography is included. 

Relevant Search Terms: Old and New

From MECP 600:

  • Multicultural Education
  • Multiculturalism or multicultural
  • Critical Multiculturalism
  • Critical Race Theory
  • Critical Theory
  • Equity
  • Differentiation (Sociology)
  • Critical Pedagogy
  • Language & Culture
  • (Subject heading) Education --- United States --- Sociological Aspects

New to this course:

  • Participant observation
  • Ethnography OR ethnographic 
  • Lived experience
  • Fieldwork
  • Fieldnotes
  • Interviews and/or transcription
  • Qualitative coding
  • Grounded theory