Realist Approaches to Ethnography: A Workshop

Realist Approaches to Ethnography


DATE: Tuesday 31st October 2017

TIME: 8.30 am – 12.30 pm (morning tea provided)

VENUE: CDU Casuarina Campus, Building Yellow 1 Level 2 Room 48 (MAP)

Ethnographic approaches to research design, data collection and analysis enable the researcher to gain a ‘lived experience’ of the social phenomena being studied.  Being situated in an area of study can strengthen contextual and temporal understandings. This lends itself very well to a realist approach which aims to understand how context influences the effectiveness of policies, programmes and interventions.

The first part of the workshop is an introduction to realism and ethnographic research that has applied a realist approach.  In the second part of the workshop participants will be invited to go out into the 'real world' to practice their observation skills on CDU campus.  When participants return, they will be shown how to use their observations in a realist way to develop programme theory.

No prior knowledge of ethnography or realism needed.  However, those with ethnographic experience may be interested to see how a realist lens may affect it; and those with realist experience may be interested to see how to apply ethnographic approaches within it.

For more information, please contact

About Becky:

Rebecca Hardwick

Rebecca Hardwick, PhD student, National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (PenCLAHRC), University of Exeter Medical School.

Before she worked at the University of Exeter, Becky worked for the UK Department of Health on projects and programmes aimed at implementing health policy in public and non-government service sectors.  Previous projects include the National Dementia Strategy, suicide prevention, and commissioning with non-government organisations.  Prior to the Department of Health, she worked as a regional liaison officer for Mind, a national UK mental health association, on developing and implementing quality standards for Local Mind Associations.  Her roots are in supporting and developing mental health care and policy based on the needs and wishes of people with living experience of mental health problems. 

Becky is currently finishing her PhD at the University of Exeter Medical School.  Her work focusses on research and knowledge use by not-for-profit healthcare organisations and she is using a realist framework to explain these processes.  She has published the findings from her Public Health MSc dissertation1, which was a realist review on the One Stop Shop for women in the criminal justice system as well as the findings from a realist economic review of shared care in a special edition of Evaluation2

She has taught realist review methods and ethnographic methods on the MSc in Health Services Research at the University of Exeter, and has been an invited speaker on realist methods and her research at national and international conferences. 

1 Hardwick, R. (2013) Integrated Services for Women through a One Stop Shop: a realist review. International Journal of Integrated Care, 21(5), 263-275.

2 Anderson, R. Hardwick, R. (2016) Realism and Resources: Towards more explanatory economic evaluation. Evaluation, 22(3), 323-341.


Cost (GST inclusive):


AES Members

CDU Staff






Registration includes morning tea.

register here

For administrative enquiries, please contact:

Pawinee Yuhun
Research Associate
P: +61 8 8946 7465