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Ethics and an ethnographic dimension to my DPhil

Ethics: Great news!CUREC banner image for screen

The web form and interview study was given ethics clearance by the Medical Sciences Interdivisional Research Ethics Committee this week.

The ethics code is MS-IDREC-C1-2015-088.

Ethnography addition

Another development is that I will add an ethnographic component to my DPhil project, which is very exciting. Ethnography is an approach to studying people in their natural setting through observation, interviews and other methods such as documentary analysis.

I have been inspired by ethnographies conducted in healthcare such as that by John Gabbay and Andre Le May that led to their concept of Mindlines and Annemarie Mol’s fascinating ethnography of atherosclerosis that resulted in a book called The Body Multiple.

..”ethnography offers a holistic way of exploring the relationship between the different kinds of evidence that underpin clinical practice”

The purpose of the ethnographic component of the thesis is to research how dentists, their teams, patients and third parties such as salespeople interact with, create and use knowledge in their natural setting.

It is well suited to my enquiry into the knowledge that dentists use in practice. Jan Savage argues that “ethnography is particularly valuable because of the attention it gives to context and its synthesis of findings from different methods. Moreover, ethnography offers a holistic way of exploring the relationship between the different kinds of evidence that underpin clinical practice.”

My intention is to conduct the ethnographies in two different-sized practices in London. One practice owner has already offered her practice as case study, for which I am very grateful.


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