Ethnography is the process of learning and describing a culture from an insider's point of view. It is a tool used in both cultural anthropology and sociology. It is also a tool in missiology as we seek to understand how our host culture understands life. Particularly, we seek to understand the meaning that local people assign to behavior, knowledge, and objects in social settings. Most often, ethnography involves taking a learning posture using participant observation and interviews. Moreover, ethnography requires humility and openness to continue learning from and being corrected by cultural insiders. Our goal in applying ethnography is to be able to understand and behave appropriately in our host culture so that the message of the gospel is understood without being captive to our home culture or the host culture.
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