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Human Affairs

Postdisciplinary Humanities & Social Sciences Quarterly

Editor-in-Chief: Višnovský, Emil

Ed. by Bianchi, Gabriel / Hrubec, Marek / Tartaglia, James

CiteScore 2016: 0.33

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.172
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 0.415

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Volume 24, Issue 1


Using ethnography to understand twenty-first century college life

Constance Iloh
  • Pullias Center for Higher Education, Rossier School of Education, 3470 Trousdale Parkway, WPH 701C, Los Angeles, USA
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/ William Tierney
Published Online: 2013-12-27 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s13374-014-0203-3


Ethnography in the field of postsecondary education has served as a magnifying glass bringing into focus university culture and student life. This paper highlights the ways in which ethnography is especially useful for understanding more recent dynamics and shifts in higher education. The authors utilize existing literature to uphold the relevancy of ethnography, while exploring its opportunities for research on adult students, online education, and for-profit colleges in particular. They conclude with methodological recommendations and directions for both qualitative research and higher education scholarship.

Keywords: ethnography; qualitative research; higher education; for-profit colleges; online education; adult students

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About the article

Published Online: 2013-12-27

Published in Print: 2014-01-01

Citation Information: Human Affairs, Volume 24, Issue 1, Pages 20–39, ISSN (Online) 1337-401X, ISSN (Print) 1210-3055, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s13374-014-0203-3.

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