This post originally appeared on the SIM Centre website.

There was a lot to love about anthropologist Tom Boellstorff’s dynamic, thought-provoking keynote to the Association of Internet Researchers. But I figured that my design colleagues, many of whom use ethnographic research as part of their design work, would be particularly interested in his list of myths about ethnography. Here’s all 10, from a draft text online:

  1. Ethnography is unscientific
  2. Ethnography is less valid than quantitative research
  3. Ethnography is simply anecdotal
  4. Ethnography is undermined by subjectivity
  5. Ethnography is merely intuitive
  6. Ethnography is writing about your personal experience
  7. Ethnographers contaminate fieldsites by their very presence
  8. Ethnography is the same as grounded theory
  9. Ethnography is the same as ethnomethodology
  10. Ethnography will become obsolete