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This paper investigates the concept of social
roles in ethnographic fieldwork, its place in the global literature discussing
qualitative research methods, and its application in the Ethiopian ethnographic
fieldwork. I discuss that social roles are
all about seeing one’s role and status, in this case, as researchers, in the
social structure of a society or community we do the ethnographic research.
Based on my own experience and the experience of other ethnographers elsewhere,
I argue that a conscious use of our
social roles is a sin qua non for successful
ethnographic fieldwork. However, this concept has been given less emphasis in
the literature of qualitative research methods.
Social roles in the ethnographic fieldwork are especially less known in
the Ethiopian ethnographic research experience.
The author used a consent sheet where he asked each participant consent for participation. The researcher signed on each consent sheet. I attached a template of the consent sheet to this form. Besides getting informed consent from each participant, I also received approval from the Institute of Ethiopian Studies, Addis Ababa University, for the conduct of the research. The approval is given, among other things, after a review of the soundness of the ethical approach.