It might seem weird to start this first lecture on observation with a different method, with ethnography. Obviously, for me, it's not weird because ethnography is a very important method. Ethnography is a method in which observation plays a huge role and according to some authors, ethnography is an epistemology rather than just a method. It's more than just a method. Let's start thinking about ethnography. What is ethnography? Ethnography is, first and foremost, an idea. The idea of ethnography is that a researcher stays for a longer period of time with a group he or she is studying. This staying means working together, eating together, partying together, having fun leisure, going to church or mosque or whatever religious gathering together, in order to understand the people in the study. For many researchers, ethnography is equated with the main method within ethnography, and that is participant observation. In another lecture, I will say something about participant observation but ethnography is often combined with other methods. The goal of ethnography is to try to understand the people in the study. So by staying for a prolonged period of time with people, participating with them, as well as observing them, we try to understand a certain group. If you do participant observation within a football team, for instance, you try to understand the local norms and values of this specific group. You try to understand the norms and values of this football team, for instance. For some people, when they refer to ethnography, they refer to the written product, the book. This is a beautiful ethnography. In his ethnography, Malinowski said this and that. So it's often used to refer to a book but when we discuss it within this course, we often refer to it as a method. Where does this method come from? It's always fun to look into the origins of different research methods and some would claim Herodotus was one of the first ethnographers, probably the first ethnographer. He wrote this book, Historia, while traveling through the Mediterranean speaking with people, eating with them, staying with them, in order to try to understand them. Others would claim that the origins of ethnography lies with travelers. People like Ibn Battuta who traveled from Morocco throughout Asia, Marco Polo, as a traveler, and there were others as well. Or colonial servants, people like Jacob Haffner. Others would claim that the first ethnographers where German explorers in Siberia. At least ,they coined the term ethnography and they worked for Peter the Great in order to try and understand different groups, tribes as they called them, in Siberia. For sociology, I think Beatrice Potter-Webb is one of the first ethnographers, although her participant observation was rather short. Some authors claim that she only stayed for a few days, rather than months in the sweatshops she's describing. But, at least, she made the claim that through ethnography we can gain understanding in a different and probably better way, at least, of the poor she was studying. Bronislaw Malinowski is often claimed by anthropologists as the first ethnographer because he stayed for a real prolonged period of time on the Trobriand Islands. He was stuck there because of the Great War. It was the only place he could possibly stay. He wasn't allowed in Australia, so he stayed at the Trobriand islands and did his famous research, among other things, the Kula trade. This ethnography, it's a method, at least, that's how we discuss it and we discuss it as ethnographic fieldwork. This field work, as I said before, consists of all kinds of methods. Many people would say participant observation but it's more than just participant observation. It's also direct observation, unobtrusive observations. Interviews in all kinds of forms and document analysis. But the main part of participant observation is this, participation and observation. In some other lectures, I will be talking about how to participate or how to think about participating, and how to think about observation.