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Ethnonursing and the ethnographic approach in nursing


Molloy, L and Walker, K and Lakeman, R and Skinner, I, Ethnonursing and the ethnographic approach in nursing, Nurse Researcher, 23, (2) pp. 17-21. ISSN 1351-5578 (2015) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2015 RCNi

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DOI: doi:10.7748/nr.23.2.17.s5


We aim to present a critical methodological review of the ethnonursing research method. Ethnonursing was developed to underpin the study and practice of transcultural nursing and to promote ‘culturally congruent’ care. Ethnonursing claims to produce accurate knowledge about cultural groups to guide nursing care. The idea that the nurse researcher can objectively and transparently represent culture still permeates the ethnonursing method and shapes attempts to advance nursing knowledge and improve patient care through transcultural nursing. Ethnography saw a ‘golden age’ in the first half of the 20th century, but the foundations of traditional ethnographic knowledge are being increasingly questioned today.

The authors argue that ethnonursing has failed to respond to contemporary issues relevant to ethnographic knowledge and that there is a need to refresh the method. This will allow nurse researchers to move beyond hitherto unproblematic notions of objectivity to recognise the intrinsic relationship between the nurse researcher and the researched. A revised ethnonursing research method would enable nurse researchers to create reflexive interpretations of culture that identify and embody their cultural assumptions and prejudices.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:ethnography, ethnonursing, transcultural nursing, culture, nursing research, anthropology, Leininger, research methods
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Nursing
Research Field:Nursing not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Provision of health and support services
Objective Field:Nursing
UTAS Author:Molloy, L (Mr Luke Molloy)
UTAS Author:Walker, K (Professor Kim Walker)
UTAS Author:Skinner, I (Professor Isabelle Skinner)
ID Code:103860
Year Published:2015
Deposited By:Health Sciences
Deposited On:2015-10-28
Last Modified:2017-11-02

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