In this paper I focus on a distinctive kind of sociological ethnography which is particularly, though not exclusively, adopted in applied research. It has been proposed that this branch of ethnography be referred to as focused ethnography. Focused ethnography shall be delineated within the context of other common conceptions of what may be called conventional ethnography. However, rather than being opposed to it, focused ethnography is rather complementary to conventional ethnography, particularly in fields that are characteristic of socially and functionally differentiated contemporary society. The paper outlines the background as well as the major methodological features of focused ethnography, such as shortterm field visits, data intensity and time intensity, so as to provide a background for future studies in this area.