Ethnography, participant observation, naturalistic or field research, are various ways of referring to a set of methods and techniques developed by behavioral scientists convinced that human beings are best studied by listening to them and their concerns in the environments where they are usually found: in the streets, at home, in small groups and communities, etc. Some psychologists, many sociologists, and most anthropologists have contributed in various ways to the development of the method and to the beginnings of its codification. Students must now consider this experience to build on it in their own research.
This course is an introduction to the method, its epistemological grounding, and some of the techniques most frequently used. It is designed to explain the method to all students whether they plan to use it for their own research. To this extent the course emphasizes breadth of coverage over depth of discussion of particular issues. It also emphasizes preparation for field research (and proposal writing) over the handling of specific difficulties arising during the course of research. The latter matters are handled in the other courses in the sequence (TF5001 and TF5002).
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In brief, a proposal answers three questions: (1) What problem is to be studied? (2) Why is it worth studying? (3) How will it be studied?
Students should decide as soon as possible what they want to study, and why. They will then work at writing the best research design possible to address the research topic, answer the research questions. The idea at this stage is plan a study without consideration of practical exigencies (e.g., time or money). It should be the best way to study what is to be studied.
The first draft of the paper will be due October 31. This "Paper One" will consist of the what you want to study portion (Questions 1 & 2). Paper Two, due December 19, will refine Paper One, and add to it the research design component (Question 3). The separation of the two papers will enable authors to refine or narrow their problems into projects which can be adequately addressed by ethnographic designs.
Paper Two will form the basis of the course grade. Students should review the criticisms of "Proposal 2" in Locke before writing Paper 2. Paper One will receive comments and feedback. Paper One should be 5-10 pages or so in length, and Paper Two no more than 15-20 pages in length (double spaced).
In preparing the proposals, students should find the following book useful, and it is required:
Locke, Spirduso, and Silverman, Proposals That Work. Sage Publications, 1987
Also think about the implications for proposals of Judd, Smith and Kidder's Chapter 19, and Bernard's Chapters 5 and 6.
9/12 Introduction: Every researcher is a theorist Kaplan, A. The conduct of inquiry. Scranton, Penn.: Chandler Publishing Company, 1964. (Chapter 1, pp. 3-33) 9/19 Theory, research design, and proposals * LeCompte, M. & Preissle, J. Ethnography and Qualitative Design in Education Research, Academic Press, 1984. (Ch. 1) Bernard, H. Russell. Research Methods in Cultural Anthropology, Sage, 1988. Ch. 1. Bruyn, Severyn The human perspective in anthropology: The methodology of participant observation. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall. 1966 Ch. 1 9/26 Proposals * Locke, Spirduso, LeCompte, Preissle, and Silverman, Proposals That Work. Sage Publications, 1987. (Ch 1 & 4) 10/3 Participant Observation: Generalities LeCompte & Preissle, Ch. 3, 4. * Judd, C.M., Smith, and Kidder, L. Research methods in Social Relations, Sixth Edition, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1991. (Ch. 12-13) Malinowski, Bronislaw "Introduction." Argonauts of the Western Pacific, pp. 1-25. New York: E.P. Dutton. 1961  10/10 Doing ethnography: Science and the humanities LeCompte & Preissle, pp. 158-177, Ch. 6. Bernard, Ch. 7-8. * Golde, Peggy. Women in the Field, Univ. of California Press, 1985. (selected) 10/24 Ethics: Principles and regulations * Judd, Smith and Kidder, Chapter 20. * AAA Ethics Materials, Bernard Appendix B 10/31 Writing field notes: class exercise * Roger Sanjek "A vocabulary for fieldnotes." in his Fieldnotes: The makings of anthropology, 92- 121. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. 1990 11/7 [ELECTION DAY -- NO CLASS] 11/14 Interviewing as context LeCompte & Preissle, pp. 177-204. * Bernard, Ch. 10 & 11 Judd, C.M., Smith, and Kidder, L. Research methods in Social Relations, Sixth Edition, Holt, Rinehart and Winston. (Ch. 1-2) Cannell and Kahn, "Interviewing" in Lindzey and Aronson, eds., Handbook of Social Psychology, 526-595. Addison-Wesley, 1969. 11/21 Systematic observation: Pens, audio tapes, video tapes (Class exercise) Whiting and Whiting, "Methods for Observing and Recording Data" in Naroll and Cohen, eds., A Handbook of Method in Cultural Anthropology, 282-315. Columbia University Press, 1970. * Erikson, F. "Audiovisual records as a primary data source." in Sociological methods and research. Vol. 11 213-233. 1982 Goodwin, C. "Suggestions for recording human interaction in natural settings." 11/28 Transcriptions: Theory and practice * Ochs, E. "Transcription as Theory." in Developmental Pragmatics. Ed. by E. Ochs and B. Schieffelin, 43-72. New York: Academic Press. 1979 Varenne, H. Ambiguous harmony: Family talk in America. Norwood, NJ: Ablex Publishing Corp.. 1992 (Chap. 1 & 2) 12/5 Analysis: archives, content, indexes * LeCompte & Preissle, Ch. 7 & 8. Judd, Smith and Kidder, Ch. 15. Holsti, Ole. "Content Analysis" in Lindzey and Aronson, eds., Handbook of Social Psychology, 596- 693. 12/13 Proposals for ethnography: systematic strengths and specific limitations