eth·nog·ra·phy n. The branch of anthropology that deals with the scientific description of specific human cultures.
I would also expand this definition to include subcultures, since the corporate world already does, as witnessed by rather spooky corporate ethnography sites like this and this.
So, yeah, ethnography here involves a very wide definition of culture, including internet subcultures. Also, you will notice that even though the title of this community is "ethnography_usa", it is described as "ethnography of the US and Canada for fun and profit". This is because:
a) ethnography_usa_canada would be too long of a name for my taste b) I like Canadians. Also, I know Canadians are subversive and will appreciate this. ;) c) As always in the social sciences, being inclusive will help you learn stuff. While being inclusive technically includes all countries, "Ethnography of [all the countries of the world], etc" was too long for a subtitle, so I chose to throw a bone to my often-ignored neighbors to the North.
I would refer you to the corporate websites above, first of all. Ethnography in North America is a very taboo subject unless you are a market researcher trying to get cash out of consumers, or a campaign strategist trying to play on people's worst, unmentionable, ethnic stereotypes. As a tool for manipulation it's quite popular, but as a starting point for serious discussions of money/class/power it's a rather sensitive (and therefore neglected) subject. Hence, the purpose of this community is serious but open discussion, and small "s" scholarship.
We'll see how it goes. I would like to warn people against being inflammatory, since that will force me to make rules, and I hate that. Anyone who wants to post stuff of an inflammatory nature should probably do so on communities that go for that sort of a thing. Also, I would like to encourage everyone to ignore such stuff if it does happen, unless they are willing to parse what the person is saying in a scholarly way (that usually shuts 'em up, and it's good for a laugh, too).
You, hopefully. I created this community without talking to anyone about it first, so I need members! Since we're just starting out, don't worry about silly stuff like "relevance". Feel free to join, post about things you're seriously willing to alter your opinion about, and offer your unchanging opinions in response to others (or something like that).