Top 101 Ethnographic Research Topics

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What is ethnography?

Ethnography is qualitative scientific research on people’s culture, beliefs, customs, and differences. The word ethnography also implies the reports that an ethnographer produces after research.

The subject is flexible as you understand society’s social challenges and conventions in focus.

Importance of Ethnography

Ethnographic research involves anthropologists living in a particular society to learn and understand their way of living for a while. However, the subject is vital in other social science fields, not only anthropology. For example, ethnographic research is applicable in:

  • Gang investigation
  • Studies on sports fans
  • Understanding how call centres work
  • Probing police officers

Ethnography has immense career possibilities. Ethnographers get employment in:

  • Academia
  • Museums
  • Anthropological organizations
  • Archeological organizations
  • NGOs specializing in social-cultural aspects

What are the advantages of ethnographic research?

Ethnography gives a researcher first-hand information of cultures and practices of communities. The ethnographic approach gives researchers first-hand interaction with people within a particular setting.

By becoming an ethnographer, you access more authentic information that you cannot easily find when asking or reading.

Further, the subject is flexible and open to other research methods. In this case, when doing ethnography research, ethnographers do not aim to verify theories and hypotheses. Instead, they are open to gathering narratives to explain a specific culture and other aspects of a community.

Why should you use ethnography in your research?

Students who want to use ethnographic research for thesis or dissertation writing should consider using the right approach. Below is a highlight of the questions that you need to ask yourself before starting your research:

  • Can you collect the information using another method? (e.g., interviews or surveys?
  • Is the community in focus easily accessible?
  • What methods will you use to conduct the research?
  • Can any ethical issues arise during the research?

When you choose to do ethnographic research in person, we recommend finding a group that you can easily access to complete in a short timeframe.

Qualities of an excellent ethnographic research topic

To create an excellent ethnographic research topic, you should formulate a question that you are curious about and have a passion for learning. We recommend that your research idea should be:

Clear: The ethnographic research topic should be clear to understand. A precise research topic makes it easy for your audience to understand your ideas.

Concise: The research topic should be direct to the point. For this reason, you should express your topic in the fewest understandable words possible.

Complex: As much as we recommend a presice research topic, it should not be answerable by yes or no. Your research topic should require analysis and synthesis.

Arguable: Your research topic should be not only factual but also debatable. Your research should also use examples to back up your points.

Focused: Your research topic should be narrow enough to answer it concisely and thoroughly.

Top 100 ethnography research topics

The number of research topics for ethnography is unlimited. However, it would be best to consider your research’s relevance, accuracy, and audience. For this case, we have selected the best ethnographic topics for you. We hope you find a suitable one.

  1. Access how the culture of Native Americans have changed over time
  2. An ethnographic study of military families
  3. Can racism impact scientific decision-making?
  4. Comparison of the behavior of kids in school and at home
  5. Discuss the links between drug trafficking and violence in an area of your choice
  6. Gender and socialization in Muslim communities
  7. Homelessness is a global catastrophe
  8. How is child protection offered in an area of your choice?
  9. How to improve services for homeless pet owners
  10. How to punish brutal police officers
  11. How vulnerable are homeless women? Are they as vulnerable as homeless men?
  12. Impacts of foreign languages on culture
  13. Is homelessness a problem in your home area? (or an area of your choice)
  14. Police brutality to minority communities
  15. Racial discrimination in public universities
  16. The concept of adulthood in the European setting
  17. What are the effects of skilled migration from third-world countries?
  18. What are the habits of rich people in a city of your choice?
  19. What are the impacts of COVID-19 on socially excluded people?
  20. What are the interventions that could help solve homelessness
  21. What causes rural-urban migration?
  22. What is seasonal migration?
  23. What is the best policy analysis used by ethnographers?
  24.  What is the cause of hospital vandalism?
  25. What problems do police officers face?

Easy Ethnographic Research Topics

Do you want some easy ethnography questions? Check out the list below and tell us what you think:

  1. An ethnographic study of Asian diets
  2. Causes of seasonal migrations
  3. Discrimination against the LGBTQ community
  4. Discuss how minority groups are treated  in prison
  5. Domestic violence against men
  6. Effects of COVID-19
  7. How are languages affected by code-switching?
  8. How are refugees used to legitimize territorial claims?
  9. How does domestic violence affect women?
  10. How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected gender-based violence victims?
  11. How to make ethnographic research innovative
  12. Mental health in conflict areas
  13. Mental health issues among the elderly
  14. Methods to eliminate homelessness
  15. Methods used to access the quality of life
  16. Narrative analysis with ethnography
  17. Prevention of gender-based violence
  18. Relationship between structural discrimination and moral status
  19. Social stigma amongst infertile couples
  20. Stigma towards COVID-19 victims
  21. The conflict between prisoners and prison staff
  22. The role of self-deception in racism
  23. What are the challenges of taking care of people with disabilities?
  24. What drives people from third-world regions to travel to first-world countries?
  25. What is the extent of drug trafficking in South America?

Interesting Ethnographic Research topics

Are you looking for interesting ethnographic research topics? Worry no more. We have got you covered.

  1. Describe the cultural clashes between natives and colonizers
  2. Do mixed origin people have a culture
  3. Economic generating activities of street families
  4. Effects of unemployment
  5. Ethical theories concerning gay marriage
  6. History of feminism
  7. How are the youth affected by poverty in Canada
  8. How do celebrities influence the culture of their fans?
  9. How do drugs affect culture?
  10. How do illicit economies affect development?
  11. How do native communities perceive modern fashion?
  12. How does culture influence the economy
  13. How does foreign religion influence native culture?
  14. How essential is it to preserve cultural diversity?
  15.  Impact of education on the poverty rate
  16. Is feminism relevant?
  17. Is homelessness a crisis vs. homelessness as an institution
  18. Issues facing bisexuals in society
  19. Policies essential in the management of poverty in contemporary social market economies
  20. Poverty eradication
  21. Strategies to minimize unemployment among youth in Africa
  22. Transgender discrimination in the USA
  23. What are the similarities and differences between African and American feminism?
  24. What defines culture?
  25. What factors contribute to joining cults?
  26. What factors contribute to leaving cults?

Additional Expert Ethnography Research Topics Suggestions

Ethnography has no limit. Some best suggestions are listed below:

  1. Coexistence between natives and refugees
  2. Coexistence of religion and politics
  3. Compare IQ difference between people living in rural and urban areas
  4. Compare the perception of children from wealthy and low-income families
  5. Describe the demographic characteristics of the Native communities of Hawaii
  6. Difference between American and Norwegian prison system
  7. Differences in diets in the Asian community
  8. Discuss the perception Japanese perception of pain
  9. Gender roles in African communities
  10. Gender roles in European communities
  11. Global mental health in a low-income society
  12. How can developing countries reach their full potential?
  13. How communities coexist with terrorism
  14. How do lifestyles encourage migration?
  15. How does authoritarianism affect communities?
  16. How does terrorism affect migration?
  17. How will humanity survive its inventions?
  18. LGBTQ in the Muslim community
  19. Methods of eradicating poverty
  20. Perception of beauty in the Maasai community in Kenya
  21. Racial discrimination in the 19th century
  22. The social-economic situation during the COVID-19 period
  23. Why are the minority communities suffering from severe outcomes of COVID-19 infections?
  24. Why do migrants use Malta as a strategic point of movement?
  25. Why is low income associated with poverty?

Tips for creating an ethnographic research topic

Do you want to create an ethnographic topic yourself? Below are expert tips to help you through.

Choose a general topic

Choose a broad research question of the topic that interests you. If you are interested in a topic, you have to research and make coherent points of the idea.

Do preliminary studies on the topic

By carrying out preliminary studies on the topic, you know the areas to scale down. Therefore, you should read journals and periodicals and see what researchers have covered and what thye have missed.

Consider your audience

It would be best if you determined your audience by your education level. If you are a college student, your research should be college-level. Before starting your research, ask yourself, “will the research interest my audience?” 

Create evaluative questions

When selecting a research topic, create questions to evaluate it. You should ask questions like “how” and “why” to know if the topic is compelling. At this stage, also ask yourself:

  • Is the ethnographic research topic clear?
  • How straightforward are the research questions?
  • Is the ethnographic project idea complex?

By reading through the topic suggestions and tips, we are sure you now have insightful information for your next project. But do not forget to consult us if you have any questions, ideas, or suggestions.

Also check, Is It Safe To Consult Online Writers?


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