ANTH3001 Ethnography: Methodological Perspectives

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Multi-mode
Semester 2AlbanyFace to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 core unit in the Anthropology and Sociology major sequence
  • Level 3 option in the Criminology major sequence
  • The area of knowledge for this unit is Society and Culture
  • Category B broadening unit for students
  • Level 3 elective
Ethnographic data and interpretations of it form the core of social anthropology and qualitative sociology. This unit considers how this data is produced. In a seminar setting, students read and analyse productions of the ethnographic imagination. By immersing themselves in the first-hand experiences of anthropologists in the field, students familiarise themselves with the process of 'doing' ethnography. The unit may address the following issues: (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 are able to (1) demonstrate an understanding of key conceptual and methodological issues relating to ethnographic practice in the social sciences; (2) demonstrate knowledge of the historical transformations in ethnographic representation and ethnographies centrality to qualitative approaches in the social sciences; (3) demonstrate an ability to engage with, critique and understand the range of ethnographic methodologies and their relevance to the practice of social research; (4) demonstrate an ability to formulate, investigate and discuss research questions and associated ethical issues for the practice of social research and establish ethical guidelines for the conduct of their own research; and (5) develop a written and oral capacity to present clear, lucid, well-documented arguments, drawing on both theory and empirical or ethnographic material relevant to this unit in a collegial manner and setting.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) participation and (2) written work. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Martin Forsey
Unit rules
ANTH2001 Social Thought
ANTH2214 Development of Social Thought
ANTH2406 Society, Law and Politics
Contact hours
up to 3 hours per teaching week
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