This is a course on applying ethnographic research methods in the social sciences. Ethnographic research seeks to understand and describe the experiences of research participants (i.e. subjects) through becoming involved in their daily lives. Findings from ethnography are generated through systematic observation within the natural context in which behavior occurs (i.e. fieldwork). Unlike methods that emphasize detachment, distance, and objectivity, ethnography involves developing knowledge by becoming an ad hoc member of the group(s) one is studying. The principal techniques of ethnography, "participant-observation" and "In-depth open ended interviewing," require actively engaging the research process. This class will explore ethnographic research techniques, as well as other qualitative research methods. In addition to addressing how such methods make claims about social phenomena, this class will also explore more practical topics such as: developing questions, entering the field, establishing rapport, taking and managing field notes, coding data, and data analysis. Lectures, readings, and class discussion will be complimented by assignments using techniques.
Offered as ANTH 339 and ANTH 439.