What follows is an overview intended to suggest the overall orientation of the course, rather than to be taken as the official, final syllabus for the 2016 course. The details of daily readings will be made available to students who register for the course. The final syllabus may also include daily homework assignments, possibly involving working in small groups.
To the extent possible, the course will accommodate student presentations of and questions about their own work during class time. If the class is large, however, it will be very difficult to arrange dedicated presentation time for each student. Students are always invited to ask questions specific to their own research projects as these are sparked by in-class discussions. These aspects of course design will be determined once the size of the class is known.
|Monday||Logics of inquiry in interpretive research:|
Abduction and surprises; Flexibility and exposure ;
Theorizing from field data
What are the ‘knowledge [a.k.a. truth] conditions’ of ethnographic research?
Readings will include chapters from Schwartz-Shea and Yanow, Interpretive Research Design, and articles by Michael Agar; Karen Locke, Karen Golden-Biddle, and Martha S. Feldman; John Van Maanen et al.; Lee Ann Fujii; Jorg Friedrichs and Friedrich Kratochwil; and Jörg Strübing.
| ||Research writing as ways of ‘worldmaking’: Issues of evidence and ‘proof’ ||
Establishing the trustworthiness of research findings.
Readings: Alice Goffman‘s 2014 On the Run along with critical reviews will constitute the case study for the discussion. Other readings will be taken from the work of Joseph R. Gusfield, Donald E. Polkinghorne, Donald N. McCloskey, Karen M. Fierke, and Peregrine Schwartz-Shea
|Tuesday||Power issues in the field: Researcher identities||
Managing researcher identity, in all its aspects, in the field: being a researcher and an observer (with whatever degree of participation) at the same time.
Readings will include chapters and articles by Herbert Gans, Juliette Koning, and Teun Zuiderent.
| ||Researcher relations with research participants||
Involving situational members: issues in ‘member-checking’, collaborative authorship, consulting/advice-giving.
Readings will be taken from Sierk Ybema et al., Organizational ethnography, Davydd J. Greenwood, and Edgar H. Schein.
|Wednesday||‘Native,’ ‘at-home’ ethnography: Insider-outsider standing and knowledge claims||
Bridging the epistemological differences between researcher and researched: ‘outsiders’ and ‘insiders’, ‘native’ ethnographers, (participatory) action research.
Readings will include the work of Michael Agar, Kirin Narayan, Mats Alvesson, Frances B. Henderson, and others.
| ||Positionality and power: Reflexivity in the field and on the page ||
Think: ‘Objectivity’ and field immersion, physically and emotionally: accounting for interaction effects through 3 types of positional reflexivity.
Read: articles or chapters by Carol Cohn, Timothy Pachirat, Samer Shehata, Claire Wilkinson, C. E. Zirakzadeh, Michel Anteby, Mitchell Duneier, Adriana Petryna, and others.
|Thursday||Ethnography and research ethics I: Protecting research participants—beyond ethics review committees||
Historical background for concerns with research ethics and the protection of human subjects/participants in research. Facing ethical issues in one’s field research: protecting participants, informed consent, deception or covert research, and other issues.
Read: articles by Lee Ann Fujii, Kai Erikson, Richard A. Leo, Howard S. Becker, and others.
| ||Ethnography and research ethics II: Protecting the researcher||
Protecting field researchers from danger.
Readings: selected chapters from Lee-Treweek and Linkogle, Danger in the field: Risk and ethics in social research and articles by Elisabeth Jean Wood, Mark de Rond, and others.
|Friday||Issues in evaluation and writing||
Evaluative ‘standards’ for field research : research trustworthiness and the language of ‘rigor’ and objectivity, ‘reliability’ and ‘validity.’
Read: articles and chapters by, among others, Mitchell Duneier, Laurel Richardson, and Tony J. Watson.
| ||Other topics in p/p/o ethnography and participant observation field research||
Content to be determined based on discussions during the week.