Survey on the other hand refers to a non-experimental research method that is descriptive in nature, which is applied when a researcher is collecting information on a phenomenon that cannot be directly observed (Fowler, 54).
Both Survey and Ethnography allows for the collection of data that is not collectable through many other methods of observation. They allow a researcher to collect information such as the opinions and attitudes of people regarding a certain subject, which cannot be collected through mere observation (Taylor, 33). The other comparison between both strategies of data collection is that they can apply multiple methods of data collection, which may entail observation and interviewing. Both methods allows for the researchers to obtain firsthand information, since the researcher in both Survey and Ethnography strategies of data collection, can observe the subjects in their natural setting and make a conclusion about the social characteristics of such groups of people. Both methods are highly subjective, since they entail the formation of an opinion by the researcher regarding the phenomenon they are observing in a sample (Fowler, 57).
There are various points of contrast between survey and Ethnography as strategies for data collection. First, while Ethnography is a purely qualitative method of data collection, which entails observing the subjects in their natural settings and then collecting the desired information, survey research method can combine both qualitative and quantitative techniques of research (Taylor, 45). The other difference is the fact that, while survey entails determining the sample from which the data is to be collected and then collecting the data from that sample using several methods such as interviews, observation and questionnaires, Ethnography entails living among the people from whom the data is collected, and behaving as one of them, through acting not as a research participant as would