The use of ethnography in social pharmacy and health services research

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Ethnography has much to offer research in social pharmacy and health services yet is rarely applied. This chapter provides an overview of the principles of ethnography starting with a brief historical account of the methodology. The first part of the chapter then explains how ethnography can shed light on the social context of pharmaceuticals, thereby introducing new ways of thinking, to researchers in the health and natural sciences. This is done by digging into the epistemology of ethnography, exploring how it differs from other methodologies (qualitative and quantitative), and how it builds on the core principles of constructivism and reflexivity. The second part of the chapter is concerned with how to conduct an ethnographic study, focusing on participant observation and fieldwork. Ethnography literally means “writing about people”; therefore, an entire section is devoted to various ways of writing up ethnographic data, from thick descriptions and field notes to social theory and analysis. Finally, there is a section on ethics, followed by advice on how to move forward with an ethnographic project. The chapter ends with some reflective questions and application exercises for designing an ethnographic study and training observation skills.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationContemporary Research Methods in Pharmacy and Health Services
Number of pages16
Publication date2022
ISBN (Print) 978-0-323-91888-6
ISBN (Electronic)9780323914260
Publication statusPublished - 2022

ID: 307293124