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AN5007 - Ethnography in Practice

[Not offered in 2023]

Credit points: 6
Year: 2023
Student Contribution Band: Band 4
Administered by: College of Arts, Society & Education

This subject offers students the opportunity to develop high level skills in critical ethnographic practice. It raises questions regarding the epistemological and methodological assumptions of an ethnographic approach. The subject considers the history of ethnography, its ethical and practical challenges, and probes into some of the philosophical, political, and ethical issues concerning cultural representation. Students explore different genres of ethnographic representation, such as classic realist ethnography, interpretive ethnography, narrative ethnography, auto-ethnography, critical ethnography, sensory ethnography and experimental ethnography. The aim is not only to learn about but also to practice various methods. To that end, students will engage in research and writing exercises, plan research projects, and then conduct authentic research in the field during a 2-3 day field trip linked to the subject. Students will explore developments in the craft of ethnographic writing and experiment with different writing strategies and various other creative media for portraying social and cultural worlds in vivid and compelling ways. The subject encourages students to learn through practical application of the tools that ethnography provides to understand, change, and critically analyse the world in which we live.

There are additional charges for this subject; please contact the School for details.

Learning Outcomes

  • practice and apply ethnographic methods in the conduct of an authentic research project;
  • demonstrate knowledge of ethical considerations regarding research with human subjects;
  • critically analyse the epistemological and methodological assumptions of an ethnographic approach;
  • skillfully draw on ethnographic research tools to produce an essay or other work that critically analyses a particular social situation, problem or issue;
  • critically assess ethnographic writing to understand the choices made by the author in the process of representation;
  • evaluate the significance, strengths and limitations of ethnography in addressing contemporary research needs.

Subject Assessment

  • Oral > Presentation 1 - (20%) - Individual
  • Written > Field notes - (20%) - Individual
  • Written > Research report - (40%) - Individual
  • Performance/Practice/Product > Practical assessment/practical skills demonstration - (20%) - Individual.

Note: Minor variations might occur due to the continuous Subject quality improvement process, and in case of minor variation(s) in assessment details, the Subject Outline represents the latest official information.