Data Collection Techniques

In social research there are multiple data collection techniques that ethnographers use in the process of inquiry. Below is a list of many of them, especially useful in qualitative research, followed by pertinent questions:

  1. Survey
  2. Questionnaire
  3. Observation of Cultural Events: Direct, Indirect/Passive, and Participant
  4. Interview: Unstructured, Semi-Structured, and Structured
  5. Focus Groups
  6. Text Analysis
  7. Narrative Inquiry
  8. Projective Techniques
  9. Dilemma Analysis
  10. Mapping
  11. Physical Trace Evidence
  12. Archival Research
  13. Tests and Assessments
  14. Statistical Sampling
  15. Social Network Analysis

As the ethnographer does social research among human subjects, which technique should be used first? How would you prioritize this list? In what order should the techniques be utilized? In what circumstance would you use which technique? Which are most beneficial for phenomenological inquiry? For a case study? For an ethnography? How many are needed in order to achieve verifiability and reliability? How certain are you of the difference between collecting data and analyzing it? What are the ethical concerns related to each technique?

Global Perspectives has experience designing social research and using data collection techniques in the field.

Leave a Comment