“I want to understand the world from your point of view. I want to know what you know in the way you know it. I want to understand the meaning of your experience, to walk in your shoes, to feel things as you feel them, to explain things as you explain them. Will you become my teacher and help me understand?” ― James P. Spradley
Ethnography is the basic and most fundamental research method in Anthropology. It attempts to describe the culture of those who are different from us, in order to explain it and understand it. Ethnography follows an inductive logic, it explains the larger culture of a group through the particular experiences of those who are part of that culture. It demands the ethnographer to step outside their comfort zone, following Malinowski’s idea: “to judge something, you have to be there.”
As ethnographers, we want to learn from the culture of the “others” through their experience and not from the single stories produced about them. In order to do so… we need to put “our selves” aside, we need to stand under, in order to understand the other.