Cultural Ethnography as a Research Method of Cultural Importance

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Ethnography, according to Goodley et al. (2004), is a research approach that includes immersion into the process, exploring a culture or social world, where the researcher takes root in a given culture and discovers hidden or open, as well as implicit cultural meanings. An ethnographic study is: 1) an analytical process of studying people inside the region of interest to the researcher; 2) natural interaction between a person and a group; 3) individual analysis of the interaction. Ethnographic research also involves the study of human culture and subcultures (Holloway, 2007). In the process of ethnographic research, the researcher analyses the data obtained as a result of the gradual process of applying the set methods in theoretical concepts. For the implementation of theoretical concepts in practice, the researcher uses philosophical and practical attempts. 

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Ethnographic research has several distinctive features from scientific research. Firstly, in the process of ethnographic research, a study of the phenomena studied takes place with the direct participation of the researcher. Secondly, the researcher is “immersed” in the field of study. In this article, I will first describe the environment with some quotes from my field notes. Then I will interpret this experience by combining methods of open coding and endopsychoanalytic interpretation. Thailand’s night markets From the 20th of December 2018 till the 18th of January 2019 I was a vacation in Phuket island, Thailand. As it was my first visit to Asia, I've decided to make ethnographic research of Asian Night Markets. I was keep coming there everyday while I was there. There Asian sellers prepare and sell national food from fresh seafood and a huge variety of fruits. Every shop on the market has several small tables so that guests of the market can sit down and enjoy freshly cooked food. As everything here is super new for me, especially Asian traditions, lifestyle, and attitude. I see this all as another world because everything is so different. Thailand’s night markets are more than just a place to buy something. Personally, I refer them to one of the most interesting sights and was trying to visit all of them. 

What surprised me is that you can find them not only in tourist resorts but also in the provincial towns of Thailand. Thai people are the most common guests of those markets, and for them, it’s a place for spending a nice evening with family members, it is like cafeterias or restaurants for European people. These markets are opening usually with the arrival of darkness, and this, depending on the season, from 6 pm or 7 pm. But sadly, they are not opened all night long. After 9 o'clock in the evening, they are slowly rolling up, and closing by midnight, because next morning they have to wake up early to come back to work. Some work daily, and somewhere, unfortunately, only on weekends or individual days. The range of markets is diverse, but most resorts sell souvenirs and all sorts of goods in the first place for tourists. There are more specialized night themed markets. For example, the Cicada Market is something like an art and craft market, i.e. it sells handmade goods and souvenirs, paintings, goods for creativity. In some of the night markets, you can find handicrafts and other interesting things specific only for this region. Food at the night markets - it is generally something indescribable. It's just a real feast of the stomach, and sometimes very exotic: insects, unusual drinks, cocktails, fruit, be sure to traditional soups. In the coastal area's abundance of seafood. Many markets generally formed around large street food courts, with trade in goods secondary. You can spend hours walking around the rows offering incredible exotic dishes. 

The first problem for me was the smell. As Asian and European traditions are totally different, I was really disgusted. Although I do really love seafood, I could eat there anything. I visited around 7 night markets in the island, to see the difference. From the first view, it looked like all of the people there are members of one big family. Because it was really hard to separate them. Maybe because I’m not used to see so many Asians at the same place, so they all in my eyes had the same face. It was so weird to see with what appetite they was eating the food there, when you can even imagine to try anything of food there by yourself . What I have noticed as well, is that not many of tourists was eating there. They all was observing it, as its kind of show. Conclusion The study of ethnographic research as a method identified the following conclusions: 1. The purpose of ethnographic research is to understand the cult of a particular group of people, processes or phenomena through the eyes of a participant in a research process. 2. The distinctive features of ethnographic research are: the direct participation of the researcher in the course of the experimental process and the life of the people or groups of society under study; the use of informal research methods, such as informal interviews or informal conversation; finding the best ways to implement in the studied areas. Although I have been there every night for 4 weeks, I still didn’t understood this culture. Plus, it was impossible to talk to any of them, because their English level is to low, and they just know most common words, like: “How are you?”, “How much?”, “Where are you from?” and etc.   

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