SOCS5002 Advanced Qualitative Methods: Ethnography
- 6 points
|Semester 2||UWA (Perth)||Multi-mode|
- Ethnography, or participant observation, is an established method across the social sciences. This unit explores the production of ethnographic data and its uses across a range of social contexts. In a seminar setting, students read and analyse a range of examples of ethnographic research, and the theory behind this methodological approach. The unit may explore the following: (1) the connection of explanatory theories to methods of research; (2) methods of studying and interpreting everyday life—participant observation (everyday life as field research), questioning, recording, note-taking; (3) eliciting and interpreting accounts of social life—semi-structured interviews, questionnaires, genealogies, family histories, participatory social research; (4) observing and interpreting categories and symbols; (5) using information technology resources to source methods and explanations; (6) engaging with innovative and interdisciplinary research methodologies and issues; and (7) how to use ethnography to engage in cross-cultural analysis. Students have an opportunity to engage in ethnographic research as part of the unit.
- Students are able to (1) describe and apply, at an advanced level, the key conceptual and methodological aspects of ethnography; (2) understand, critique and engage with ethnographic research skills; (3) engage with the range of ethnographic methodologies and appreciate their relevance to the practice of social research; (4) problematise assumptions about cause and meaning in social science; (5) defend the value of the qualitative program in social science; (6) understand how ethnographers engage with unusual situations and address ill-defined problems; (7) understand ethical issues for the practice of ethnography; (8) undertake theoretically informed participant observation; and (9) develop a written and oral capacity to present clear, well-documented arguments, drawing on both theory and empirical material.
- Typically this unit is assessed in the following ways: (1) a research essay; (2) an ethnographic exercise; and (3) participation. Further information is available in the unit outline.
Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
- Unit Coordinator(s)
- Associate Professor Martin Forsey
- Unit rules
- Advisable prior study:
- for Social Research Methods students: ANTH4103 Knowing Social Realities: Theoretical Foundations, SOCS5003 Research Design, SOCS5005 Social Research Ethics
- Contact hours
- up to 3 hours per week
- The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
- All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
- Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available at the University Co-operative Bookshop (from early January) and appropriate administrative offices for students to consult. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.