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Folknography

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Folknography [1][2], a qualitative research method, was first defined and conceptualized by Dr. David M. Lucas of Ohio University[3]. Dr. Lucas, a communication studies faculty member, originally began his research using ethnography [4] but quickly found the terms, processes and and design to be ambiguous, difficult to define and hard to implement. He then turned to Rapid Rural Appraisal[5], but soon discovered that RRA fit mostly rural, agricultural projects and did not meet his particular needs for a research method that allowed for studying a particular people group. At this juncture, in May of 2000, Dr. Lucas led a group of students from Ohio University to Saltillo, Mexico to join a group of students from The Tech of Monterrey (ITESM)[6]. After one full week of studying and training in the newly defined research method, the joint venture project using folknography began in a small Mexican village called General Cepeda[7].

Following this successful venture in Mexico, Dr. Lucas teamed up with sociologist Dr. Charles Jarrett[8], also from Ohio University, and refined the method in a second ambitious project with the Gullah/Geechee[9] in South Carolina. During this project, the use of field posting to a dedicated web site was introduced along with the unique analysis concept called feed-forward[10].


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