Organizational Culture Shock: Ethnographic Fieldwork Strategies for the Novice Health Science Researcher

  • Cindy K. Malachowski University of Toronto
Keywords: Culture shock, fieldwork, ethnography, student researcher, health science research

Abstract

The increased use of ethnography in health science research warrants an in-depth examination of the experiential account of ethnographic data collection. Using OBERG's classic definition of "culture shock" as a framework, I share my experience as a novice researcher conducting fieldwork as part of an institutional ethnography on workplace mental health. I draw attention to the typically unspoken aspects of ethnography throughout this account by providing insights on role contradictions, in addition to ethical, emotional, and practical issues that are not readily addressed in traditional methodological descriptions of ethnography. I conclude with a variety of strategies for the novice health science researcher to effectively negotiate some of the typical dilemmas experienced in this type of research.

URN: http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs150298

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Author Biography

Cindy K. Malachowski, University of Toronto

Cindy K. MALACHOWSKI is a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) funded postdoc rehabilitation researcher at the University of Waterloo. Her research interests include workplace mental health, work disability prevention, and return to work interventions. This manuscript was completed as part of a PhD at Rehabilitation Sciences Institute at the University of Toronto.

Published
2015-03-31
How to Cite
Malachowski, C. K. (2015). Organizational Culture Shock: Ethnographic Fieldwork Strategies for the Novice Health Science Researcher. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 16(2). https://doi.org/10.17169/fqs-16.2.2268