Ethnography as an independent science was born in the German and Russian enlightenment. The historian Gerhard Friedrich Müller can be regarded as the founder of ethnography. In 1740, he formulated a program describing the Siberian peoples, which he called the "Völker-Beschreibung" (description of peoples). After the expedition developed a program for the 'description of the Siberian peoples' with the aim of comparing them with each other and with peoples of other parts of the world.

"The formation of ethnology (Völker-Beschreibung and Völkerkunde) took place in two stages: (1) as ethnography (Völker-Beschreibung), in the work of German explorers in Siberia (Messerschmidt, Müller, Gmelin, Steller, Fischer) during the first half of the eighteenth century; (2) as ethnology (Völkerkunde), in the work of German-speaking historians (Schöpperlin, Thilo, Schlözer, Gatterer, Kollár) during the second half of the eighteenth century.".

Ethnography can be simply defined as "…the observation, description, depiction and/or representation of lived social experience.". "Is a process of creating and representing knowledge (about society, culture and individuals) and involves a field-based study lengthy enough to surface people’s everyday norms and routines.".
Eduardo González Santos, ethnographer. "Ethnographer synthesizes disparate observations to create a holistic construct of 'culture' or 'society'. "According to Bromley, ethnography was supposed to study 'similarity and differences between peoples-etnoses and the changes of their characteristics in time, i.e. ethnic processes".

Visual ethnography study people in wide range of settings, research life and human behavior to convey the inner life and the diverse social enclaves and personal circumstances of society. Combining visual media and From the Völker-Beschreibung to Völkerkunde: Ethnographic research provide purposeful presentations of meaning relating to social occurrences.

Research ethics in ethnography. "Given the nature of the 'intrusiveness' that ethnographic approaches adopt, good reasons have to be given for ‘interfering’ in people’s lives to such an extent.".

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