Ethnographic and Case Study Approaches: Philosophical and Methodological Analysis

Lusia Neti Harwati


In qualitative methods, there are various approaches that can be used to answer particular social questions, for example ethnography and case study. Two studies conducted by different researchers in China and Australia using these approaches were described and analysed in order to find out their similarities and differences in terms of philosophical and methodological perspectives, in the hope that it will provide an insightful contribution to a critical review of ethnography and case study reports. It is found that the ethnograpic study in China was clasiffied in ethnographic fieldwork, whereas the case study conducted in Australia was categorised in explanatory, multi-cases study. Furthermore, these two studies produced different knowledge within the field of education. The first study revealed that basic education were related to literacy, numeracy, and cultural characteristics of China, whereas the study conducted in Australia offered statistical data that can be used to explain minority languages maintenance program in Wollongong-Shellharbour. In relation to their methodoligal practices, however, focus group discussion and interview conducted in Zhejiang Province, China produced irrelevant data and those had been held in Wollongong, Australia, had limited participants.


Qualitative, Ethnography, Case Study, Philosophy, Methodology

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