Ethnographic research is a qualitative method that involves unstructured and semi-structured as well as spontaneous and systematic modes of inquiry, analysis, and writing.

Ethnographic research is used across disciplines and contexts, whether research in social sciences, humanities, or organizations. It is commonly used in both "pure" and "applied" settings including community-based participatory research, collaborative research contexts, and multi-modal or digital worlds.

UMass Amherst is also home to an Ethnography Collective—a community grounded in the arts and sciences of deep, immersive research that takes seriously the critical importance of embodied, lived, and relational knowledge production. The Ethnography Collective aims to sustain ethnographers in their work as well as to increase advocacy, education, and visibility for ethnographic research.