Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 18

ethnography Related Abstracts

18 Understanding Jordanian Women's Values and Beliefs Related to Prevention and Early Detection of Breast Cancer

Authors: Khlood F. Salman, Richard Zoucha, Hani Nawafleh


Introduction: Jordan ranks the fourth highest breast cancer prevalence after Lebanon, Bahrain, and Kuwait. Considerable evidence showed that cultural, ethnic, and economic differences influence a woman’s practice to early detection and prevention of breast cancer. Objectives: To understand women’s health beliefs and values in relation to early detection of breast cancer; and to explore the impact of these beliefs on their decisions regarding reluctance or acceptance of early detection measures such as mammogram screening. Design: A qualitative focused ethnography was used to collect data for this study. Settings: The study was conducted in the second largest city surrounded by a large rural area in Ma’an- Jordan. Participants: A total of twenty seven women, with no history of breast cancer, between the ages of 18 and older, who had prior health experience with health providers, and were willing to share elements of personal health beliefs related to breast health within the larger cultural context. The participants were recruited using the snowball method and words of mouth. Data collection and analysis: A short questionnaire was designed to collect data related to socio demographic status (SDQ) from all participants. A Semi-structured interviews guide was used to elicit data through interviews with the informants. Nvivo10 a data manager was utilized to assist with data analysis. Leininger’s four phases of qualitative data analysis was used as a guide for the data analysis. The phases used to analyze the data included: 1) Collecting and documenting raw data, 2) Identifying of descriptors and categories according to the domains of inquiry and research questions. Emic and etic data is coded for similarities and differences, 3) Identifying patterns and contextual analysis, discover saturation of ideas and recurrent patterns, and 4) Identifying themes and theoretical formulations and recommendations. Findings: Three major themes were emerged within the cultural and religious context; 1. Fear, denial, embarrassment and lack of knowledge were common perceptions of Ma’anis’ women regarding breast health and screening mammography, 2. Health care professionals in Jordan were not quick to offer information and education about breast cancer and screening, and 3. Willingness to learn about breast health and cancer prevention. Conclusion: The study indicated the disparities between the infrastructure and resourcing in rural and urban areas of Jordan, knowledge deficit related to breast cancer, and lack of education about breast health may impact women’s decision to go for a mammogram screening. Cultural beliefs, fear, embarrassments as well as providers lack of focus on breast health were significant contributors against practicing breast health. Health providers and policy makers should provide resources for the establishment health education programs regarding breast cancer early detection and mammography screening. Nurses should play a major role in delivering health education about breast health in general and breast cancer in particular. A culturally appropriate health awareness messages can be used in creating educational programs which can be employed at the national levels.

Keywords: beliefs, ethnography, Cultural Context, breast health, mammogram screening

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17 Decoding Socio-Cultural Trends in Indian Urban Youth Using Ogilvy 3E Model

Authors: Falguni Vasavada, Pradyumna Malladi


The research focuses on studying the ecosystem of the youth using Ogilvy's 3E model, Ethnography and Thematic Analysis. It has been found that urban Indian youth today is an honest generation, hungry for success, living life by the moment, fiercely independent, are open about sex, sexuality and embrace individual differences. Technology and social media dominate their life. However, they are also phobic about commitments, often drifting along life and engage in unsubstantiated brave-talk.

Keywords: Culture, Buyer Behavior, Youth, ethnography, track

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16 An Ethnographic Inquiry: Exploring the Saudi Students’ Motivation to Learn English Language

Authors: Musa Alghamdi


Although Saudi students’ motivation to learn English language as a foreign language in Saudi Arabia have been investigated by a number of studies; these have appeared almost completely as using the quantitative research paradigm. There is a significant lack of research that explores the Saudi students’ motivation using qualitative methods. It was essential, as an investigator, to be immersed in the community to understand the individuals under study via their actions and words, their thoughts, views and beliefs, and how those individuals credited to activities. Thus, the study aims to explore the Saudi students’ motivation to learn English language as a foreign language in Saudi Arabia employing qualitative methodology via applying ethnography. The study will be carried out in Saudi Arabia. Ethnography qualitative approach will be used in the current study by employing formal and informal interview instruments. Gardner’s motivation theory is used as frameworks for this study to aid the understanding of the research findings. The author, an English language lecturer, will undertake participant observations for 4 months. He will work as teaching-assistant (on an unpaid basis) with EFL lecturers in different discipline department at a Saudi university where students study English language as a minor course. The researcher will start with informal ethnographical interview with students during his existence with the informants in their natural context. Then the researcher will utilize the semi-structural interview. The informal interview will be with 14-16 students, then, he will carry out semi-structural interview with the same informants to go deep in their natural context to find out to what extent the Saudi university students are motivated to learn English as a foreign language. As well as, to find out the reasons that played roles in that. The findings of this study will add new knowledge about what factors motivate universities’ Saudi students to learn English language in Saudi Arabia. Very few chances have given to students to express themselves and to speak about their feelings in a more comfortable way in order to gain a clear image of those factors. The working author as an EFL teacher and lecturer will provide him secure access into EFL teaching and learning setting. It will help him attain richer insights into the nature EFL context in universities what will provide him with richer insights into the reasons behind the weakness of EFL level among Saudi students.

Keywords: Language, Motivation, ethnography, Saudi

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15 Ergonomics and Its Applicability in the Design Process in Egypt Challenges and Prospects

Authors: Mohamed Moheyeldin Mahmoud


Egypt suffers from a severe shortage of data and charts concerning the physical dimensions, measurements, qualities and consumer behavior. The shortage of needed information and appropriate methods has forced the Egyptian designer to use any other foreign standard when designing a product for the Egyptian consumer which has led to many problems. The urgently needed database concerning the physical specifications, measurements of the Egyptian consumers, as well as the need to support the Ergonomics given courses in many colleges and institutes with the latest technologies, is stated as the research problem. Descriptive analytical method relying on the compiling, comparing and analyzing of information and facts in order to get acceptable perceptions, ideas and considerations is the used methodology by the researcher. The research concludes that: 1. Good interaction relationship between users and products shows the success of that product. 2. An integration linkage between the most prominent fields of science specially Ergonomics, Interaction Design and Ethnography should be encouraged to provide an ultimately updated database concerning the nature, specifications and environment of the Egyptian consumer, in order to achieve a higher benefit for both user and product. 3. Chinese economic policy based on the study of market requirements long before any market activities should be emulated. 4. Using Ethnography supports the design activities creating new products or updating existent ones through measuring the compatibility of products with their environment and user expectations, While contracting a joint cooperation between military colleges, sports education institutes from one side, and design institutes from the other side to provide an ultimately updated (annually updated) database concerning some specifications about students of both sexes applying in those institutes (height, weight, etc.) to provide the Industrial designer with the needed information when creating a new product or updating an existing one concerning that category is recommended by the researcher.

Keywords: Ergonomics, ethnography, Interaction Design, adapt

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14 An Ethnographic Study of Commercial Surrogacy Industry in India

Authors: Dalia Bhattacharjee


Motherhood as an institution is considered as sacred. Reproduction and motherhood have always been a concern of the private space of home. However, with the emergence of technologies like the Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ARTs), this intimate area has moved into the public. A woman can now become a mother with artificial insemination done by expert medical professionals in a hospital. With this development, the meanings of motherhood and childrearing have altered. Mothers have been divided into ‘ovarian mothers’ (those who provide the eggs), ‘uterine mothers’ (those who carry out the pregnancy and give birth), and ‘social mothers’ (those who raise the child). Thus, the ART business deconstructs motherhood by defining who the biological mother is and who the social mother is and who – despite contributing parts or processes of her body to the life of the child is not a mother, but merely the donor of a product, be it the egg or the womb, which is owned by those who are favoured by the contract. The industry of commercial surrogacy in India has been estimated to be of $2.3 billion as of 2012. There are many women who work as surrogate mothers in this industry for the exchange of money. It runs like a full-fledged business guided by a highly profit oriented capitalist market. The reproductive labourers are identified as mere womb renters or victims and not as active agents in such arrangements. Such a discourse undercuts the agency exercised by the women. The present study is an ethnography into the commercial surrogacy industry in India. This journey furthers the understanding of the dilemmas faced by the reproductive labourers. The paper emphasizes on the experiences of reproduction and motherhood outside the private space of the home in the commercial surrogacy industry in India, and, argues that this multiplicity of experiences need much focus and attention, where, the consumer becomes ‘the’ citizen and the women workers continue to be victims. The study draws on the narratives of the reproductive labourers, who remain at the center, and yet, at the periphery of such arrangements. This feminist ethnography is informed by the feminist standpoint theory to account for and analyse these varied experiences which further the understanding of the dilemmas faced by the reproductive labourers.

Keywords: ethnography, commercial surrogacy, motherhood, standpoint theory

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13 Post-Yugoslav Identity Negotiations in Diaspora Settings: Biographical Narration among Academics of Serbian Origin in Baden-Württemberg

Authors: Dragana Bubulj


The Former Republic of Yugoslavia was a sort of protective umbrella, a unique concept of gathering different ethnical, cultural, and religious identities, as well as diverse intersections of those. After 43-months long civil war and states disintegration in 1995, which resulted in 5 post-Yugoslav countries, Yugoslav Diaspora experienced radical changes. In Germany, one of the countries with the highest percentage of Yugoslav emigration, segregation on ethno-national grounds was empowered by the outbreak of the conflict: firstly on a socio-cultural level, and followed by changes on the level of institutional organizing. Psycho-emotional and financial involvement of Diaspora into the war is also not to be neglected. People of Serbian origin have been additionally overstrained with the designation of Serbs as war criminals in German media and the public sphere. In this way, the path from 'being a Yugoslav' toward 'becoming a Serb', outside nowadays Serbia, has been qualitatively different in comparison to potential identity shiftings experienced by other members of Former Yugoslav population. This paper is part of an ongoing PhD research and tackles biographical narratives of academics of Serbian origin in one German region. Paper addresses processes of post-Yugoslav identity negotiations in Diaspora settings, nationalistic tendentious among second generation youth, and discusses - based on NS-references founded in collected data - question of historicity of biographies.

Keywords: Identity, Biography, Diaspora, ethnography, former republic of Yugoslavia

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12 User-Centered Design in the Development of Patient Decision Aids

Authors: Ariane Plaisance, Holly O. Witteman, Patrick Michel Archambault


Upon admission to an intensive care unit (ICU), all patients should discuss their wishes concerning life-sustaining interventions (e.g., cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)). Without such discussions, interventions that prolong life at the cost of decreasing its quality may be used without appropriate guidance from patients. We employed user-centered design to adapt an existing decision aid (DA) about CPR to create a novel wiki-based DA adapted to the context of a single ICU and tailored to individual patient’s risk factors. During Phase 1, we conducted three weeks of ethnography of the decision-making context in our ICU to identify clinician and patient needs for a decision aid. During this time, we observed five dyads of intensivists and patients discussing their wishes concerning life-sustaining interventions. We also conducted semi-structured interviews with the attending intensivists in this ICU. During Phase 2, we conducted three rounds of rapid prototyping involving 15 patients and 11 other allied health professionals. We recorded discussions between intensivists and patients and used a standardized observation grid to collect patients’ comments and sociodemographic data. We applied content analysis to field notes, verbatim transcripts and the completed observation grids. Each round of observations and rapid prototyping iteratively informed the design of the next prototype. We also used the programming architecture of a wiki platform to embed the GO-FAR prediction rule programming code that we linked to a risk graphics software to better illustrate outcome risks calculated. During Phase I, we identified the need to add a section in our DA concerning invasive mechanical ventilation in addition to CPR because both life-sustaining interventions were often discussed together by physicians. During Phase II, we produced a context-adapted decision aid about CPR and mechanical ventilation that includes a values clarification section, questions about the patient’s functional autonomy prior to admission to the ICU and the functional decline that they would judge acceptable upon hospital discharge, risks and benefits of CPR and invasive mechanical ventilation, population-level statistics about CPR, a synthesis section to help patients come to a final decision and an online calculator based on the GO-FAR prediction rule. Even though the three rounds of rapid prototyping led to simplifying the information in our DA, 60% (n= 3/5) of the patients involved in the last cycle still did not understand the purpose of the DA. We also identified gaps in the discussion and documentation of patients’ preferences concerning life-sustaining interventions (e.g.,. CPR, invasive mechanical ventilation). The final version of our DA and our online wiki-based GO-FAR risk calculator using the risk graphics software are available online at and are ready to be adapted to other contexts. Our results inform producers of decision aids on the use of wikis and user-centered design to develop DAs that are better adapted to users’ needs. Further work is needed on the creation of a video version of our DA. Physicians will also need the training to use our DA and to develop shared decision-making skills about goals of care.

Keywords: ethnography, User-Centered Design, intensive care units, life-sustaining therapies

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11 An Ethnographic Study: Ineffective Management of a Social Enterprise

Authors: Sylvia Acquah


The assumption that social enterprises are empowering has strong theoretical support, but empirical verification is anecdotal at best. Social enterprises blend social goal with an enterprising idea and therefore in theory these enterprises should provide meaningful jobs that are empowering. Whether jobs created are meaningful, or whether these organizations are practicing social entrepreneurship remains unexplored key questions. This paper addresses these key questions through a comprehensive literature review and an ethnographical study of a Domiciliary Home Care Social Enterprise in the UK. The social entrepreneurs, management and 9 staff members were observed, interviewed and achieves were reviewed and analyzed. In this study, the social entrepreneur’s vision was lost in transition during management change and the organization was only identified as a social enterprise by name. The organization that was set up to tackle lack of continuity in care and create a family of independent carers, was eventually closed down overnight and subjected to investigation by social services and the local council. Also, the ineffectiveness of the organization led to staff being stressed and without the support of the management to help rectify the issues; staff started displaying symptoms of burnout. Social enterprise managers should not only focus on profit maximization or generation, but should equally live up to the core tenets of the enterprise and effectively communicate and gain buy-in of all employees for any changes. Further, there ought to be an independent organization that regulates social enterprises to ensure that they are adhering to their social goals.

Keywords: Enterprise, Social, ethnography, carer

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10 Santo Niño in Canada: Religion, Migration, and the Filipino Underside

Authors: Alison Marshall


“Santo Niño in Canada – Religion, Migration, and the Filipino Underside” seeks to explore the intersection of religion, migration and the Filipino underside through research participant narratives, archival research, and fieldwork on the cult of Santo Niño in Canada. Santo Niño is the single most revered saint in Filipino religiosity. According to popular lore, the original statue of Santo Niño was brought to the Philippines by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan in 1521, who claimed the islands on behalf of Spain. While Santo Niño is meant to be a manifestation of Jesus as a child, in Filipino thought and culture he very much resembles pre-Hispanic spirits, as well as patron saints introduced by the Spanish. Santo Niño shrines appear in churches, restaurants, businesses, and homes throughout the diaspora suggesting that he was much more than a Catholic image. He represents a deity who often shares a business or home shrine with non-Christian statues such as lucky cats, the Buddha, Guanyin, and Guangong, and sometimes the Chinese God of the Earth. He represents how Christian culture has been refashioned through indigenous, Chinese, Malay, and Indonesian influences. He embodies the religious superstructure that defines Christian piety and habits. On the one hand, he stands for Jesus, a pious son of God, and yet, on the other hand, he can be a simple vindictive child who punishes those who ignore him. Santo Niño is a complex character linked to the past before Christianity. As Filipinos engage with Santo Niño in Canada, they connect to him as Jesus, the son of God. They are also connecting to a childlike figure who sometimes uses his spiritual power to punish. A hybrid figure who comes came into being at the beginning of the Spanish colonial moment, he is maintained throughout the American one and continues to be a powerful reminder of Filipino identity and resilience when people leave the Philippines for migrant work. As this paper argues, Santo Niño beliefs, practices, and stories unite people in the diaspora regardless of language, gender, or nation. Santo Niño enables one to think about and understand what it means to be Filipino and living migrant lives in the diaspora today. In this way, the cult of Santo Niño expresses both Catholic orthodoxy and the heterodox Filipino underside that includes the use of magical amulets, healing, visions, and spirit mediumship.

Keywords: Migration, Religion, ethnography, Philippines

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9 Evaluating the Business Improvement District Redevelopment Model: An Ethnography of a Tokyo Shopping Mall

Authors: Stefan Fuchs


Against the backdrop of the proliferation of shopping malls in Japan during the last two decades, this paper presents the results of an ethnography conducted at a recently built suburban shopping mall in Western Tokyo. Through the analysis of the lived experiences of local residents, mall customers and the mall management this paper evaluates the benefits and disadvantages of the Business Improvement District (BID) model, which was implemented as urban redevelopment strategy in the area surrounding the shopping mall. The results of this research project show that while the BID model has in some respects contributed to the economic prosperity and to the perceived convenience of the area, it has led to gentrification and the redevelopment shows some deficiencies with regard to the inclusion of the elderly population as well as to the democratization of the decision-making process within the area. In Japan, shopping malls have been steadily growing both in size and number since a series of deregulation policies was introduced in the year 2000 in an attempt to push the domestic economy and to rejuvenate urban landscapes. Shopping malls have thereby become defining spaces of the built environment and are arguably important places of social interaction. Notwithstanding the vital role they play as factors of urban transformation, they have been somewhat overlooked in the research on Japan; especially with respect to their meaning for people’s everyday lives. By examining the ways, people make use of space in a shopping mall the research project presented in this paper addresses this gap in the research. Moreover, the research site of this research project is one of the few BIDs of Japan and the results presented in this paper can give indication on the scope of the future applicability of this urban redevelopment model. The data presented in this research was collected during a nine-months ethnographic fieldwork in and around the shopping mall. This ethnography includes semi-structured interviews with ten key informants as well as direct and participant observations examining the lived experiences and perceptions of people living, shopping or working at the shopping mall. The analysis of the collected data focused on recurring themes aiming at ultimately capturing different perspectives on the same aspects. In this manner, the research project documents the social agency of different groups within one communal network. The analysis of the perceptions towards the urban redevelopment around the shopping mall has shown that mainly the mall customers and large businesses benefit from the BID redevelopment model. While local residents benefit to some extent from their neighbourhood becoming more convenient for shopping they perceive themselves as being disadvantaged by changing demographics due to rising living expenses, the general noise level and the prioritisation of a certain customer segment or age group at the shopping mall. Although the shopping mall examined in this research project is just an example, the findings suggest that in future urban redevelopment politics have to provide incentives for landowners and developing companies to think of other ways of transforming underdeveloped areas.

Keywords: ethnography, Urban Redevelopment, business improvement district, shopping mall

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8 Floorboards, Whitewalls and Butterflies: Ethnography of a Community Mental Health Cafe

Authors: J. N. Bardi, N. Wright, S. Timmons, P. Crawford


Introduction: In the United Kingdom (UK), the transfer of care from the asylums to the community has meant that some people with mental health problems (MHP) may not have access to suitable or adequate statutory community mental health services (CMHS). However, in addition to statutory CMHS, there are informal CMHS that provide spaces where people with MHP can attend such as faith communities, clubhouses, user-led organisations, day centres including drop-in-centres and community hubs and community mental health cafés (CMHCs). Aim: To qualitatively understand what happens in a community mental health café in relation to the place, people and processes, from the participant's perspective. Methodology: Ethnography Methods: Data collection will be field notes from observations written as thick description and interviews with participants. Data analysis will be thematic and narrative analysis. Relevance: The study seeks to observe what happens in a user-led community mental health café and explore if it provides the services that it claims to offer. Therefore, a literature review was conducted to examine the research evidence related to informal CMHS, focusing on similarities and differences. Results indicated that informal CMHS differ with regards to why, how, who set them up and who funds them, but they are similar because people with MHP who attend them report related psychological, vocational, and social interaction benefits. In addition to the differences listed above, CMHCs differ in their adoption of the commercial café model of social space and some CMHCs claim to address needs of social isolation and loneliness which they assert are not properly addressed by statutory CMHS and some informal CMHS. Therefore, CMHCs explicitly differentiate themselves from statutory CMHS and some informal CMHS such as day centres, hospitals and social services. However, CMHCs were found to be like drop-in-centres and community hubs which are also free for MHP to attend without the need for assessments, membership or appointments. To situate community mental health café within other informal CMHS and provide a rationale for the proposed study a scoping review was conducted to determine the scope of available research evidence on CMHCs. Findings from the scoping review reflected the literature review findings with regards to the benefits of attending informal CMHCs for people with MHP. Of the ten studies included in the scoping review, seven were on CMHCs for people living with dementia and two were on CMHCs for people with a broader range of MHP. The researcher hopes that findings from the proposed PhD study will build on the existing understanding of informal CMHS, extend the research evidence on CMHCs and address any gap in the literature.

Keywords: Community, Mental Health, ethnography, cafe

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7 Ama de Casa: Gender Division of Labor the Response to Environmental and Economic Constraints, Ecuador

Authors: Tyrus C. Torres, Michael Harris


In a coastal town of Ecuador, the role of women is commonly defined as an ama de casa, a woman who works in the house, raises children, and contributes to the community. This project, under the guidance of Dr. Michael Harris from the Florida Atlantic University, seeks to understand how the role of an ama de casa provides a secure environment for men and women, coexists with economic and environmental constraints that explain the origins of how this environment has been formed. The coastal community aspects of familia (family), trabajo (work), relación (relationships), machismo (masculinity), feminista (femininity), and the culture of Ecuador define the ways of life in a coastal setting. This ethnographic research project included the following methodologies: environment mapping, conducting interviews, surveys, participant observation, direct and indirect observations, and integration into daily life. Immersion into the daily life and building relationships with the local people allowed the documentation of intricacies of both the cultural and social spheres. The findings of this research offer insight on how culture, economics, and environment can form female and male agency. Our investigation shows that occupations such as fishermen, laborers, ama de casas, and even students utilize occupational routes to create social agency in the face of economic and environmental constraints in Ecuador.

Keywords: ethnography, Gender Roles, Ecuador, gender division of labor

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6 Uncovering Geometrical Ideas in Weaving: An Ethnomathematical Approaches to School Pedagogy

Authors: Jaya Bishnu Pradhan


Weaving mat is one of the common activities performed in different community generally in the rural part of Nepal. Mat weavers’ practice mathematical ideas and concepts implicitly in order to perform their job. This study is intended to uncover the mathematical ideas embedded in mat weaving that can help teachers and students for the teaching and learning of school geometry. The ethnographic methodology was used to uncover and describe the beliefs, values, understanding, perceptions, and attitudes of the mat weavers towards mathematical ideas and concepts in the process of mat weaving. A total of 4 mat weavers, two mathematics teachers and 12 students from grade level 6-8, who are used to participate in weaving, were selected for the study. The whole process of the mat weaving was observed in a natural setting. The classroom observation and in-depth interview were taken with the participants with the help of interview guidelines and observation checklist. The data obtained from the field were categorized according to the themes regarding mathematical ideas embedded in the weaving activities, and its possibilities in teaching learning of school geometry. In this study, the mathematical activities in different sectors of their lives, their ways of understanding the natural phenomena, and their ethnomathematical knowledge were analyzed with the notions of pluralism. From the field data, it was found that the mat weaver exhibited sophisticated geometrical ideas in the process of construction of frame of mat. They used x-test method for confirming if the mat is rectangular. Mat also provides a good opportunity to understand the space geometry. A rectangular form of mat may be rolled up when it is not in use and can be converted to a cylindrical form, which usually can be used as larder so as to reserve food grains. From the observation of the situations, this cultural experience enables students to calculate volume, curved surface area and total surface area of the cylinder. The possibilities of incorporation of these cultural activities and its pedagogical use were observed in mathematics classroom. It is argued that it is possible to use mat weaving activities in the teaching and learning of school geometry.

Keywords: Geometry, ethnomathematics, ethnography, mat weaving, school pedagogy

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5 Ethnography of the Social and Cultural Perspectives of Childhood Neuro-Developmental Disorders: Implications for Health Seeking

Authors: Denis Nono, Catherine Abbo, Thomas Wenzel


Introduction: The study explored socio-cultural perspectives of childhood disorders and its implications for health seeking. Emphasis was on exploring local understanding and perceptions and how these ideas affect health seeking. Study aim: To explore the socio-cultural perspectives of neuro-developmental disorders and its implications on health seeking behaviour. Methods: The methods used in this study included key informant interviews conducted with health professionals. Parents of the children aged (6-15 years) with neuro-developmental disorders were recruited from the hospital to participate in focus group discussion, participant observation and individual in-depth interviews. Results: The study found out that stigma extended from children to parents and caregivers who were also shunned by community members. Participants described their children as “a gift from God” others described them as “a test from God”. The communities perceive the disorders as a spiritual infliction and always insisted that the children be taken for Acholi cultural and traditional rituals to cleanse children and they believed that mental illness has spiritual linkages. Conclusion: This study gives unique insights into the perceptions of neuro-developmental disorders and health seeking behavior in Gulu District and neighboring communities. The results showed that communities linked disorders to spiritual affliction, misunderstandings between families, bewitching, and other supernatural forces. Some of the participants highly recommended biomedical approaches to prevention, management and control of the disorders.

Keywords: ethnography, Socio-cultural, Neuro-Developmental Disorders, health seeking

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4 Real Fictions: Converging Landscapes and Imagination in an English Village

Authors: Edoardo Lomi


A problem of central interest in anthropology concerns the ethnographic displacement of modernity’s conceptual sovereignty over that of native collectives worldwide. Part of this critical project has been the association of Western modernity with a dualist, naturalist ontology. Despite its demonstrated value for comparative work, this association often comes at the cost of reproducing ideas that lack an empirical ethnographic basis. This paper proposes a way forward by bringing to bear some of the results produced by an ethnographic study of a village in Wiltshire, South England. Due to its picturesque qualities, this village has served for decades as a ready-made set for fantasy movies and a backdrop to fictional stories. These forms of mediation have in turn generated some apparent paradoxes, such as fictitious characters that affect actual material changes, films that become more real than history, and animated stories that, while requiring material grounds to unfold, inhabit a time and space in other respects distinct from that of material processes. Drawing on ongoing fieldwork and interviews with locals and tourists, this paper considers the ways villagers engage with fiction as part of their everyday lives. The resulting image is one of convergence, in the same landscape, of people and things having different ontological status. This study invites reflection on the implications of this image for diversifying our imagery of Western lifeworlds. To this end, the notion of ‘real fictions’ is put forth, connecting the ethnographic blurring of modernist distinctions–such as sign and signified, mind and matter, materiality and immateriality–with discussions on anthropology’s own reliance on fictions for critical comparative work.

Keywords: Mediation, Ontology, Landscape, Modernity, ethnography, England, post-structural theory

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3 Negotiating Communication Options for Deaf-Disabled Children

Authors: Steven J. Singer, Julianna F. Kamenakis, Allison R. Shapiro, Kimberly M. Cacciato


Communication and language are topics frequently studied among deaf children. However, there is limited research that focuses specifically on the communication and language experiences of Deaf-Disabled children. In this ethnography, researchers investigated the language experiences of six sets of parents with Deaf-Disabled children who chose American Sign Language (ASL) as the preferred mode of communication for their child. Specifically, the researchers were interested in the factors that influenced the parents’ decisions regarding their child’s communication options, educational placements, and social experiences. Data collection in this research included 18 hours of semi-structured interviews, 20 hours of participant observations, over 150 pages of reflexive journals and field notes, and a 2-hour focus group. The team conducted constant comparison qualitative analysis using NVivo software and an inductive coding procedure. The four researchers each read the data several times until they were able to chunk it into broad categories about communication and social influences. The team compared the various categories they developed, selecting ones that were consistent among researchers and redefining categories that differed. Continuing to use open inductive coding, the research team refined the categories until they were able to develop distinct themes. Two team members developed each theme through a process of independent coding, comparison, discussion, and resolution. The research team developed three themes: 1) early medical needs provided time for the parents to explore various communication options for their Deaf-Disabled child, 2) without intervention from medical professionals or educators, ASL emerged as a prioritized mode of communication for the family, 3) atypical gender roles affected familial communication dynamics. While managing the significant health issues of their Deaf-Disabled child at birth, families and medical professionals were so fixated on tending to the medical needs of the child that the typical pressures of determining a mode of communication were deprioritized. This allowed the families to meticulously research various methods of communication, resulting in an informed, rational, and well-considered decision to use ASL as the primary mode of communication with their Deaf-Disabled child. It was evident that having a Deaf-Disabled child meant an increased amount of labor and responsibilities for parents. This led to a shift in the roles of the family members. During the child’s development, the mother transformed from fulfilling the stereotypical roles of nurturer and administrator to that of administrator and champion. The mother facilitated medical proceedings and educational arrangements while the father became the caretaker and nurturer of their Deaf-Disabled child in addition to the traditional role of earning the family’s primary income. Ultimately, this research led to a deeper understanding of the critical role that time plays in parents’ decision-making process regarding communication methods with their Deaf-Disabled child.

Keywords: Sociolinguistics, ethnography, American sign language, deaf-disabled

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2 Co-Creation of an Entrepreneurship Living Learning Community: A Case Study of Interprofessional Collaboration

Authors: Palak Sadhwani, Susie Pryor


This paper investigates interprofessional collaboration (IPC) in the context of entrepreneurship education. Collaboration has been found to enhance problem solving, leverage expertise, improve resource allocation, and create organizational efficiencies. However, research suggests that successful collaboration is hampered by individual and organizational characteristics. IPC occurs when two or more professionals work together to solve a problem or achieve a common objective. The necessity for this form of collaboration is particularly prevalent in cross-disciplinary fields. In this study, we utilize social exchange theory (SET) to examine IPC in the context of an entrepreneurship living learning community (LLC) at a large university in the Western United States. Specifically, we explore these research questions: How are rules or norms established that govern the collaboration process? How are resources valued and distributed? How are relationships developed and managed among and between parties? LLCs are defined as groups of students who live together in on-campus housing and share similar academic or special interests. In 2007, the Association of American Colleges and Universities named living communities a high impact practice (HIP) because of their capacity to enhance and give coherence to undergraduate education. The entrepreneurship LLC in this study was designed to offer first year college students the opportunity to live and learn with like-minded students from diverse backgrounds. While the university offers other LLC environments, the target residents for this LLC are less easily identified and are less apparently homogenous than residents of other LLCs on campus (e.g., Black Scholars, LatinX, Women in Science and Education), creating unique challenges. The LLC is a collaboration between the university’s College of Business & Public Administration and the Department of Housing and Residential Education (DHRE). Both parties are contributing staff, technology, living and learning spaces, and other student resources. This paper reports the results an ethnographic case study which chronicles the start-up challenges associated with the co-creation of the LLC. SET provides a general framework for examining how resources are valued and exchanged. In this study, SET offers insights into the processes through which parties negotiate tensions resulting from approaching this shared project from very different perspectives and cultures in a novel project environment. These tensions occur due to a variety of factors, including team formation and management, allocation of resources, and differing output expectations. The results are useful to both scholars and practitioners of entrepreneurship education and organizational management. They suggest probably points of conflict and potential paths towards reconciliation.

Keywords: ethnography, Case study, social exchange theory, interprofessional collaboration

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1 An Ethnographic Study on Peer Support Work-Ers in a Peer Driven Non Governmental Organization: The Colorado Mental Wellness Network

Authors: Shawna M. Margesson


This research study seeks to explore the lived experience of peer support workers (PSWs) in a peer-led non-governmental organization in Denver, Colorado, USA. The Colorado Mental Wellness Network offers supportive wellness recovery services such as wellness recovery action plans (WRAP), advocacy trainings for anti-stigma campaigns, and PSWs to work with and for consumers in the community. This study suggests that a peer-run environment is a unique community setting for PSWs to work given all employees are living in mental wellness recovery. Little has been documented about PSWs' personal accounts of working within a recovery-oriented organization and their first-person accounts to working with consumers. The importance of this study is to provide an ethnographic account of both subjects; the lived experiences of PSWs of both organizational and consumer-driven recovery. This study seeks to add to the literature and the social work profession the personal accounts of PSWs as they provide services to others like themselves. It also will provide an additional lens to view the peer-driven movement in mental health and wellness recovery.

Keywords: Mental Health, ethnography, peer to peer movement, peer support workers

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