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Robert Crosnoe, Chair CLA 3.306, Mailcode A1700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-6300

Spring 2009


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Course Description

This course has four major objectives: 1) to become familiar with some classic and contemporary ethnographies 2) to acquaint students with the methodological tenets of ethnography 3) to consider theoretical and epistemological issues in ethnographic research 4) to put some data production techniques (observant participation, in-depth interviews, and life-stories) into practice Throughout the semester will we read ethnographies that study different objects from a variety of theoretical perspectives. We will submit these works to a generative reading, that is, we will take the analytic, epistemological, and methodological tools these ethnographies provide to think about our own research objects. Since learning to do ethnography is essentially a practical task, a craft that must be learned in practice, as part of the requirements students will be asked to develop a research project and conduct preliminary observations, write fieldnotes, and conduct two interviews. The final product should be a first draft of a research project that uses ethnography as a major data-production technique.


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