What is Ethnography of Communication

Ethnography of Communication if explained in simple terms is a method of analysing communication patterns with certain communities, which in communication terms are referred as ‘speech communities’. Social scientists or linguists see communication as a continuous flow of information preferably than segmented swap or communication of messages, and to study these and other communications patterns, ethnographic method is one of many ways used. So ethnography is a tool to study, not a science or technology.


  • 1

    Ethnography is a method of analysis in linguists, which draws on the principles of anthropology of ethnography. It is a form of methodology, which involves study and research work to analyse communication patterns with a 'speech community' or communities. The patterns are not just limited to oral or verbal communication, but use of other tools, for example expressions, also encompasses the ethnography of communication. It is more to culture of the communication, instead of just exchange of words.

  • 2

    In ethnographic analysis of communication, the communication is flow of information pretty than simple or segmented communication or swap of messages. The analysis is made to deeply study culture of communication within a community.

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    Ethnographic analysis is more comprehensive study method than others. It focuses deep understanding of cultures, their communication patterns, the point of emphasis in a message, where community members do not find enough support from words, because of lack of education or otherwise.

  • 4

    Ethnographic a analysis of communication may also involve some of gestures or expressions and other forms used in communication, rather than study of just words. It is more to understand historical culture of communication within a community or communities and how that culture has developed to make the communication process more comprehensive.

  • 5

    If explained according to the social science, ethnography is a scientific analysis of communication, but it does not evaluate the physical tools used in the process. It is more to study patterns, features and cultures of the communication, rather than how its effectiveness can be increased through use of different tools.

  • 6

    In order to understand communication patterns of a community, ethnographic analysis of communication is necessary, as other methods applied may not be very effective. The application of anthropological aspects of ethnography makes this study possible, and the success ratio of this study is very high.

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