What I have trouble with, and am starting to worry about, is that I don’t really know how to define research, which makes it tough to know what kind of research I want to do. When I think research, I think lab or field work, not necessarily the sort of research I do when I write a paper, which is either googling (or google scholaring), looking for articles online at the university library website, or, and this might not go over well, going onto Wikipedia, looking at which articles are cited at the bottom of the wikipedia article, and finding those online. My worry is that this sort of research, looking at articles, doesn’t provide anything new. It fits in the interpretivist school we talked about in class, which always seems to come up as “too relativist,” not that I’m interested in a positivist approach either.
What I’m trying to build up to is really just a question: can someone explain what ethnography is? I looked it up on wikipedia, but I’d like more explanation. It comes up a lot in the readings, and I’m not sure what to do with it.