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Ethnographic Theory and Research Methods

Although located within the Department of Anthropology, this course is explicitly designed to engage graduate students from a range of disciplines and with a diverse set of research objectives. Ideally suited for graduate students who plan to carry out ethnographic fieldwork as part of their MA or PhD thesis research, it will also be valuable for students who are considering such fieldwork or who want to develop familiarity with ethnographic research methods. Themes and readings will balance an on-going discussion of research epistemology (How do we know what we know?) with an exploration of concrete research methods. We will explore the origins of ethnography within anthropology (What problems of knowledge was it designed to meet?), and compare the anthropological approach with other ethnographic traditions, such as sociology, as well as more recent uses in the humanities and other social sciences. The course will consider each moment in the ethnographic research process: from conceptualization and design, to fieldwork practice, analysis, and writing. Students will get the most out of this course if they bring a specific research project or question to it.

ANTHROP 722

Ethnographic Theory and Research Methods

Unit(s): 3.0 Level(s): Graduate Term(s): Fall Offered?: Yes Language?: No

Although located within the Department of Anthropology, this course is explicitly designed to engage graduate students from a range of disciplines and with a diverse set of research objectives. Ideally suited for graduate students who plan to carry out ethnographic fieldwork as part of their MA or PhD thesis research, it will also be valuable for students who are considering such fieldwork or who want to develop familiarity with ethnographic research methods. Themes and readings will balance an on-going discussion of research epistemology (How do we know what we know?) with an exploration of concrete research methods. We will explore the origins of ethnography within anthropology (What problems of knowledge was it designed to meet?), and compare the anthropological approach with other ethnographic traditions, such as sociology, as well as more recent uses in the humanities and other social sciences. The course will consider each moment in the ethnographic research process: from conceptualization and design, to fieldwork practice, analysis, and writing. Students will get the most out of this course if they bring a specific research project or question to it.


Andrew Gilbert

Assistant Professor