Differences Between Ethnography And Ethnology

Last Updated on March 19, 2022 by QCity Editorial Stuff

Ethnography and ethnology are both types of observational research that focus on cultural groups, but they have different purposes. Ethnography focuses on the social aspects of culture while ethnology focuses more on the physical aspects. Both are used to learn about a specific group to understand how people live their lives or what is important to them. They can be used for many different reasons including community outreach, marketing, fundraising, etc.

Ethnography and ethnology are both used as ways to study different cultures. The main difference between the two is that ethnography focuses on a single culture while ethnology looks at multiple cultures. 

Ethnographic studies focus on one specific group of people and their traditions, beliefs, practices, and everyday lives. This can include anything from food habits to family relations to religious practices. It helps researchers understand how daily life works within that particular culture or society by looking at what they do and why they do it for them to live day-to-day lives successfully. For example, if you wanted to learn about Jewish dietary restrictions during Passover, an ethnographer might interview members of the Jewish community about what foods they eat and why to understand the meaning behind certain taboos. 

Comparison Between Ethnography And Ethnology

Parameters of ComparisonEthnographyEthnology
System Ethnography is a qualitative research method that studies the social and cultural lifeethnology is a comparative study of cultures
Focus Ethnography focuses on individual experiences or group interactionsethnology looks at the general patterns of behavior in different groups.
Method include participant observation, interviews, focus groups, and surveysethnological methods include linguistic analysis and archaeological evidence
Goal The goal of an ethnographer is to understand how culture influences human behaviorethologist is to compare different cultures with one another
Study studies other culturesStudy on ethologist

What Is Ethnography?

Ethnography is a research method that requires the researcher to immerse themselves into a culture and observe it from within. This allows for an in-depth understanding of different cultures and how people interact with one another. Ethnography involves participant observation, meaning the researcher must be involved in the daily life of those who they are observing to get a real idea of their surroundings. The goal of ethnographic research is to create an accurate description or interpretation of events through descriptive writing and analysis.

Ethnography is a method of research in which the researcher studies people in their natural environment. The aim is to gain an understanding of how members of that culture or group live and view the world. This information can then be used to help with marketing, branding, etc. It’s also valuable when doing ethnographic research for academic purposes because it allows you to understand another culture more fully than just through reading about them.

Ethnography is a research method that involves observing and recording behavior in cultural settings. By carefully documenting the activities, words, and actions of people in a specific culture or community, ethnographers aim to understand how individuals within those cultures perceive their world. The goal is to gain insight into the daily lives of other people. Ethnography is often used as an exploratory research technique because it allows researchers to discover unexpected insights about human behavior and provides deep insight into living conditions such as customs, norms, values, beliefs, and attitudes within different cultures.

What Is Ethnology?

Ethnology is the study of people and their culture. This includes race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, and other social factors that make up a group of people. It can also include communication between groups such as language barriers or cultural differences. Ethnologists use observations to record data about different cultures around the world. Once they collect enough information they publish it in books or journals for others to read about it.

Ethnology is the study of human cultures and ways of life, which can include technology, art, religion, society, and law. It is often divided into four sub-fields: cultural anthropology (the study of different societies around the world), linguistics (the study of languages), archaeology (the study of past civilizations), and ethnobotany (study about how people use plants for food). All four fields are important to understand what culture means in today’s globalized society. 

Ethnologists are experts on diverse social groups around the globe that have not yet been studied or understood by other disciplines. Ethnologists need to be willing to explore new territories to gain a deeper understanding of how globalization impacts these groups’ customs and practices.

10 Differences Between Ethnography And Ethnology

System: Ethnography is a qualitative research method that studies the social and cultural life of people, while ethnology is a comparative study of cultures.

Focus: Ethnography focuses on individual experiences or group interactions, while ethnology looks at the general patterns of behavior in different groups.

Method: Ethnographic methods include participant observation, interviews, focus groups, and surveys; ethnological methods include linguistic analysis and archaeological evidence.

Goal: The goal of an ethnographer is to understand how culture influences human behavior; the goal of an ethologist is to compare different cultures with one another. 

Study: An anthropologist who studies other cultures may be either an ethnographer or an ethologist. 

Sociologist: Ethnographers are typically sociologists or psychologists by training; ethologists are usually linguists or archaeologists by training.

Research: Ethnography is a qualitative research methodology while ethnology is the study of human societies.

Culture: Ethnographers focus on specific communities or social networks, whereas ethologists study entire cultures.

Practice: Ethnographers use participant observation and interviews to gather data about a group’s culture and society, whereas ethologists may also use surveys or experiments. 

Year: Ethnography has been around for over 100 years but it was not until recently that it became popular in marketing – this happened when companies realized they could target niche markets more effectively through this type of research

Interesting Statistics Or Facts Of  Ethnography 

1. Ethnography is the study of culture.

2. The term “ethnography” was coined by Sir Edward Tylor in 187.

3. The word ethnography comes from two Greek words, “ethnos,” meaning people or tribe, and “graphic,” meaning to write.

4. An ethnographer studies a certain group of people for an extended period, usually months or years.

5. Ethnographers are often anthropologists who specialize in writing about cultures that are different than their own. 

6. There are three types of ethnographies – participant observation, non-participant observation, and historical research.

Interesting Statistics Or Facts Of Ethnology

1. The word “Ethnology” derives from the Greek words ethnos, meaning “nation,” and logos, meaning study.

2. Ethnologists study human cultures and their social patterns to understand how they function.

3. In the 1800s, Franz Boas was one of the first modern-day ethnologists who studied different groups of people in North America through interviews and observations. 

4. One way that an ethnologist may make a living is by working as a consultant for businesses or other organizations on problems related to culture, diversity, or international relations; this is called industrial anthropology. 

5. The word ethnology is derived from the Greek words ēthnos and logos, which together mean “knowledge of a people.

6. There are over 7 billion people in the world today who belong to one or more ethnic groups.


Ethnography is a qualitative research method that allows the researcher to be part of an observed group. Ethology, on other hand, is a quantitative approach to studying culture and society through statistical analysis. -Ethnographic data can provide insights into how people think about their behaviors as well as other groups’ behaviors in comparison with one another. This information could then be used for marketing purposes or designing products based on these findings from ethnological studies. -For this type of study to work effectively, it requires someone who has lived within the community being studied over an extended period so they can fully understand what life looks like from the inside out instead of viewing it from outside looking in. 


Resource 01: https://anthropology.princeton.edu/undergraduate/what-ethnography
Resource 02: https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/social-sciences/ethnology

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