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Institutional ethnography: An emerging approach for health and nursing research

Sue Adams, RN, MSc, Senior Lecturer, School of Nursing, Massey University, Albany, NZ

Jenny Carryer, RN, PhD, Professor, School of Nursing, Massey University, Palmerston North, NZ

Jill Wilkinson, RN, PhD, Senior Lecturer, School of Nursing, Massey University, Wellington, NZ

 Reference

Adams, S., Carryer, J., & Wilkinson, J. (2015).  Institutional ethnography:  An emerging approach for health and nursing research.  Nursing Praxis in New Zealand, 31(1), 18-26.

Abstract

This article introduces institutional ethnography as a valuable approach to sociological inquiry for health and nursing research in New Zealand.  Institutional ethnography has gained increasing prominence across the world because of the potential transformative nature of the research.  Institutional ethnography explores how everyday activities and experiences are coordinated by the ruling relations and their institutional processes and discourses.  By mapping how our everyday lives are textually organised, the ruling relations are made explicit.  This article provides an overview of institutional ethnography, introducing key concepts.  Research particularly relevant to health and nursing will be referred to as a way of showing the value of institutional ethnography to nurse researchers.  The paper concludes by describing how institutional ethnography is being used in research on establishing nurse practitioners and their services in rural primary health care.

Keywords

Institutional ethnography; ruling relations; nurse practitioners; health research; sociological inquiry

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