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Ethnography Description and Challenges: Analytical Essay

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Grounded theory is a qualitative research design that investigates wide interpretations of a particular action, procedure or method (Creswell & Poth, 2018). Grounded theory methods will investigate the point of perspective linked to a broad base of respondents who are knowledgeable in the sector or subject matter studied by the researcher or research group (Creswell & Poth, 2018). Grounded theory study aims at identifying, developing and integrating ideas, individuals are not the objects of assessment. Relatively, it is the ideas that individuals provide as the object of evaluation through information.

Singer (2009) described Ethnography as “holistic description of cultural membership” This involves studying individuals within their own cultural environment, rather than sitting in an office and gathering it, through extensive fieldwork the investigator travels to the information. It typically includes a tiny number of instances being investigated in depth, sometimes just one case. Ethnographers highlight the frameworks of their topics and attempt to be open to their world-comprehension. And ethnography employs several methods, usually observations and interviews, while also adding some visual recordings, analysis of documents, diaries, and the like. Grounded theory utilizes coding to create a theory. Interview is used to understand the similarity in the behavior of the participants. This paper provides some overview on grounded theory and ethnography and how best to determine the connection between African American women and doctoral persistence.

Keywords: Grounded Theory, Ethnography, Doctoral persistence,

Grounded Theory Description

In its context, grounded theory is distinctive and unique. The structure of grounded theory emanate as information is coded and analyzed. Using grounded theory technique in research study is advantageous, due to the fact that fresh theories often arise through this technique. Data collected in grounded theory is based on the experiences of those that are involved in the studies through interviews, focus group and observation (Creswell & Poth, 2018). Grounded theory methodology has the capacity to be an adequate methodological strategy for researchers trying to erode the power imbalances that affect study procedures. Grounded theory is a qualitative method of research so that the processes used are inductive, and not deductive. Grounded theory generates theory using information and eventually creates hypotheses that reflect the conduct of further studies and assessments (Stern & Porr, 2011).

The researchers test the hypothesis with the removal of extraneous information or variables in order to get a clear image of the probable causes of the issue, based on observational theory and the application of rational thinking. Inductive reasoning involves every possible piece of data, including the circumstances of instances, and then searches for similarities. The researcher takes note of that when several respondents use the same words or very comparable phrases or act in the same or similar way. As the cases are known, a code is provided. The classic way of creating codes is to interview and observe over time, but not the only way to create them. These can be the key idea or ideas for the later theory and study question generation when codes intersect and phenomena are recognized (Urquhart, 2013).

Ethnography Description

Ethnography is very comparable to a grounded theory based on the fact that patterns are developed. Whilst grounded theory develops information patterns for the generation of a key category, ethnography creates cultural group patterns. The aim of ethnography is to create a cultural group understanding based on information from fieldwork (Creswell & Poth, 2018). Ethnography gets from the central focus of founded theory a more holistic view.

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When viewing this group, ethnography scientists can carry out further studies, which often observe participants and interview them; finally observing participant phrases, language, working behavior and ideology connected to them. Ethnographic researcher looks for outcomes of social behavior patterns and aims at addressing behaviors and even at reflecting on problems by participants (Creswell & Poth, 2018).

Grounded Theory Challenges

There are two problems associated with grounded theory. In order to create fresh theories, researchers must disregard their earlier views or preferences, as a result of the difficulties connected with grounded theory studies. The primary problem with prior biases and belief is the emphasis placed on creating fresh theory. If these are still a challenge with the other qualitative methods, one needs to look like a blank slate, so that one doesn't get affected by past information or views. The time and awareness connected with this specific strategy is also a challenge connected with grounded theory, particularly for those fresh to studies (El-Hussein, Kennedy, & Oliver, 2017). Researchers take a long time to interview a large number of participants to create topics from the information they are collecting.

Ethnography Challenges

The research of individuals and cultures to explore cultural peculiarities is ethnography. As a technique of information collection, it involves examining and understanding the conduct of participants in a particular social scenario (Kwame, 2018). The first challenge for ethnographic researchers is a profound knowledge of the group's culture. The researcher must understand the participants ' social and cultural behaviors, who share the same process, action or interaction. A researcher with a holistic approach to the history, religion, politics, economy and the environment of the group is the possible solution. The ethnographer concentrates on a whole cultural community

Problem Statement

The specific problem to be dealt with is the rate of attrition for female doctoral candidates in African America. This research must be carried out in order to comprehend the cause of African American women's attrition in a doctoral degree program. Whether the reasons for attrition are shared among this cultural group is essential to determine. In order to determine how to enhance the experience for prospective female doctoral students in this group, study is intended to know the inner and external factors that add to the attrition of women study as Africa American. This research collects information by observing the participant,

Research Questions

  • RQ1. What are the challenges you had with support services from school during your doctoral degree program?
  • RQ2. What factors impact African American doctoral student persistence, internally or externally?

Purpose Statement

The purpose of this grounded theory and ethnographic study is to address some of the particular difficulties that African American female students may face when it comes to completing a doctoral degree. Researcher will review a small minority of African American female students to collect their opinions on personal experiences they experienced while the students were working to complete their doctoral degree. This study's participants will be present female students who have finished at least 50 percent of their doctoral program but have not yet reached the stage of their dissertation. To this extent the motivations of African American female students are important to understand, as the structure of the program changes at the start of the doctoral dissertation phase.


Both grounded theory and ethnography are qualitative techniques which evaluate information to identify a common characteristic. Grounded theory aims to comprehend a core shared category between information, while ethnography seeks to comprehend a particular cultural group's common beliefs, opinions and values. Each of these techniques faces difficulties in terms of moment and bias. These techniques are best used in the field of doctoral persistence comprehension.


  1. Corbin, J. (2017) Grounded Theory. The Journal of Positive Psychology. Retrieved from
  2. Creswell, J. W. & Poth, C.N. (2018) Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design: Choosing Among Five Approaches. [MBS Direct]. Retrieved from
  3. El Hussein, M., T., Kennedy, A., & Oliver, B. (2017). Grounded theory and the conundrum of literature review: Framework for novice researchers. The Qualitative Report, 22(4), 1199-1210. Retrieved from
  4. Kwame Harrison, A. (2018-06-14). Introduction to Ethnography. In Ethnography.: Oxford University Press, Retrieved 15 Jun. 2019, from
  5. Stern, P.& Porr, C. (2011). Essentials of Accessible Grounded Theory. New York: Routledge,
  6. Urquhart, C. (2013). Grounded theory for qualitative research. 55 City Road, London: SAGE Publications, Ltd doi: 10.4135/9781526402196
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