Fieldnotes in team ethnography: Researching complementary schools



Creese A, Bhatt A, Bhojani N & Martin P (2008) Fieldnotes in team ethnography: Researching complementary schools. Qualitative Research, 8 (2), pp. 197-215.

Ethnography has typically been seen as a singular research journey in which the lone researcher engages in the study of a community. However, increasingly within the social sciences, ethnographic research takes place in teams. This article explores the processes of using fieldnotes to develop team ethnography in a study of Gujarati complementary schools in a diverse English city. Complementary schools are also known as supplementary, heritage and community language schools. They are voluntary, usually run by local communities, and outside the state education sector. The article looks at how fieldnotes are used by researchers to constitute a team, contest interpretations and produce nuanced accounts of complementary schools. For the purpose of this article, a set of fieldnotes has been selected and presented as a case study to illustrate the role fieldnotes played in the team. The article explores their iterative use by the four-member team to settle upon particular research themes. We consider the role fieldnotes played in the team's reaching contested but shared accounts of social and linguistic action in one particular complementary school.

Complementary schools; fieldnotes; team ethnography;

Qualitative Research: Volume 8, Issue 2

FundersEconomic and Social Research Council
Publication date01/04/2008
Publication date online01/04/2008

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Professor Angela Creese

Professor Angela Creese

Professor in Education, Education