Critical ethnography: A useful methodology in conducting health research in different resource settings

Dunsi Oladele, Solina Richter, Alexander Clark, Lory Laing

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Over the years, many policies have been implemented across nations to prevent, reduce and tighten enforcement on smoking and tobacco use. However, despite all of the major initiatives, smoking related deaths and diseases still remain high and present a major challenge for many nations of the world. In this paper we argue that conducting a critical ethnography study in different settings, as this research sets out to do (in Nigeria) is a first step to understanding the tobacco control policies that will work effectively in different resource settings. As the act of smoking becomes global, it is beneficial to study the effect of specific methods, methodology and policies in addressing smoking in the population. This paper is one of three on the study of public health challenge of smoking in Nigeria, and explains the method used in collecting and analyzing data. The research was undertaken and analyzed through a critical ethnography lens using critical realism as a philosophical underpinning. In the study we relied upon the following components: original field work in Nigeria which includes participant observation of smokers, in-depth interviews and focus groups with smokers, and in depth interviews with health professionals working in the area of tobacco control in Nigeria.

Original languageEnglish
JournalQualitative Report
Issue number39
Publication statusPublished - 24 Sep. 2012


  • Critical ethnography
  • Critical realism
  • Health policy
  • Insider/outsider
  • Qualitative research
  • Smoking
  • Tobacco control


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