Ethnographic Biography: Tracing Paths Across Multiple Times and Spaces

Yosepha Tabib-Calif, Edna Lomsky-Feder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this article, we propose “ethnographic biography” as a research strategy designed to address the basic difficulty of qualitative studies in capturing the temporal dimension of human action and experience. This difficulty is particularly salient when the subjects are dispersed in space and their contacts with the researcher are repeatedly interrupted. To overcome these discontinuities in space and time, the “ethnographic biography” combines complementary research tactics: Alongside biographical follow-up interviews — the commonly acceptable approach to resolving the temporal challenge — we propose two additional ethnographic methods: focused observations of social events and ongoing interactions with the subjects in virtual spaces. The advantage of that set of methods lies in that each method which locates the encounter between the researcher and the subjects in a different space and captures a different temporal dimension.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalThe International Journal of Qualitative Methods
StatePublished - 2021


  • ethno-class identity
  • Ethnographic biography
  • longitudinal study
  • time and space
  • young adults

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education


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