Here is a link to the access point for 2016 writings in the Encyclopedia of Language and Education on critical ethnographic research. The abstract is below; if you like what you are reading then follow the link above to website that hosts the full manuscript. The definition laid out in the abstract is in a similar frame of mind as our approach to urban design.
Critical ethnography is a qualitative approach to research that explicitly sets out to critique hegemony, oppression, and asymmetrical power relations in order to foster social change. While all forms of critical ethnography work to interrogate the structures of power and lay bare inequities suffered by marginalized communities, some critical ethnographers work directly with community members, engaging in participatory research and ongoing dialogue with those being researched. Recently, critical ethnography has taken a turn toward exploring indigenous ways of knowing and producing knowledge, which has led the field in new and exciting directions.
This chapter will review scholarship that has worked to develop a coherent foundation for critical ethnographic research in terms of elaborating a range of approaches, dealing with issues of accountability and reliability, managing researcher ethics, and ensuring credibility of both the research process and findings. We explore in particular the challenges related to attempting to conduct critical ethnography within traditional research structures, such as Institutional Review Boards for research conducted with human subjects, and institutional expectations for publication.
Finally, in recent years, new contexts and needs have moved critical ethnographers to explore different compatible and contrasting epistemologies. Particularly, indigenous ways of knowing and creating knowledge have influenced an increasing number of researchers. This opening up of the field allows innovative and creative explorations to critique, denounce, and move to action.