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Anthropology: Ethnographies

Resources in Anthropology and interdisciplinary areas to start your research

Find Ethnographies

eHRAF World Cultures
HRAF = Human Relations Area File.  Contains ethnographic collections, organized by regions, subregions, and cultures, covering all aspects of cultural and social life, on hundreds of groups of people from around the world.

Ethnographic Video Online

  • Vol 1. Lays the foundation for the study of anthropology, from the earliest days of film and recording equipment in the field. Content includes the most studied films in the classroom.  
  • Vol 2.  A selection of contemporary ethnographic film and documentaries, exploring global issues such as environmental degradation and climate change, refugee migration, and endangered languages.

Kanopy Ethnography Collection

Ethnography Books
These are scattered throughout the UCI Libraries' collection, and they do not necessarily have the word ethnography in their title.  In Library Search, try searching the catalog adding this to a keyword search:  

AND (ethnograph* OR ethnolog* OR "case study")  

  • asterisk* finds every ending to a word, quotes find words in an exact sequence.  
  • Example:  American Indians AND (ethnograph* OR ethnolog* OR "case study")  ​

Ethnography Defined

The first-hand, comprehensive, written description of different peoples and their customs (literally, “nation-writing,” from the Greek), focusing on a particular population, place and time, with the goal of accurately describing that culture or ethnic group.  This first-hand account is produced through participant observation of the culture or group.

The term covers both the object produced (“she has written an ethnography of the Arawak people”) and the processes and methods of producing it (“what is the future of ethnography?”).

The ethnographic monograph has long been a staple vehicle of anthropological research and theory, and the earliest genuine ethnographies, in this sense, developed in the mid-19th century.  

Concise Dictionary of Social and Cultural Anthropology, 2012
What is an Ethnography?, University of AZ Library