Focused Ethnographic Research and Understanding of Thai Family Caregiving in Thai Sociocultural Context
Ethnographic research is a qualitative method that aims to explain the way of life and culture
of people in a society. This method can be conducted at both macro and micro levels. The macro
level (traditional ethnography) takes a broader perspective, while the micro level (focused
ethnography) focuses more on a particular culture or subgroup. Focused ethnography has been
widely used in nursing research. It helps understand not only the way of life and cultural context of
different groups of people but also their unique views of illness and health behavior. In the context
of Thai society, the family is a most signifcant social unit. Members of the family are bound with love
and taking care of each other. An illness to one family member impacts the family system. Family
members are often primary caregivers; the intersection of family and caregiving uniquely impacts
treatment of and reaction to illness. Understanding the family in sociocultural context thus guides
providing care in accordance with the needs of each family and helps maintain family equilibrium
and well-being. The purposes of this article are to describe the meaning and types of ethnographic
research, including nursing research using ethnographic design, and to provide an understanding of
the sociocultural context of Thai family caregiving. This can help nurses understand the social and
cultural contexts that inﬂuence caregiving in Thai families.
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