- Code ANTH8059
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by School of Archaeology and Anthropology
- ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
- Course subject Anthropology
- Areas of interest Anthropology, Development Studies, Social Research, Sociology, Heritage Studies
Anthropology as a discipline is distinguished by its use of ethnography, the intense, intimate study of a small section of human society. This method brings with it both advantages and challenges. It allows anthropologists (and, by extension, their readers, project teams, and employers) to look into human motivations, concerns, hopes, and joys – in short, to see the fine detail of life behind the numbers of government reports, economic trends, opinion polls, and other statistics. At the same time, there is an intimate relationship between researcher and researched (individuals called informants, collaborators, partners, and often friends) that does not always exist in other fields. This course will chart the emergence of anthropology as a fieldwork science, and the changing features of ethnographic practice over 100 years of disciplinary history. We then engage with emerging trends and theories related to new fieldwork contexts like corporate and design applications, and digital anthropology.
Over the course of the semester we will survey and apply a broad range of anthropological methods. This course is structured as a practicum, emphasizing learning by doing. Each student will develop one project for the whole semester. Practicums will involve trialling, sharing, debating, and brainstorming applied anthropology in real world contexts.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- discuss and critically evaluate the history and significance of ethnography within anthropological research methods;
- identify and formulate original anthropological questions as the basis for a range of fieldwork scenarios;
- draw upon and apply a broad array of anthropological research methods to an independent ethnographic project; and
- evaluate research design and develop advanced skills in communicating ethnographic findings to diverse audiences.
Indicative AssessmentPracticum portfolio (2,000 words) , 25% (LO 2,3)
Infographic (500 words), 10% (LO 1)
Four applied projects (750 words each) 10% each, total 40% (LO 3,4)
15 minute presentation, 10% (LO 3,4)
Final reflective essay (1000 words), 15% (LO 1,2,4)
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Workload130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 12 hours of lectures and 24 hours of hands-on practical; and
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing including 1 hour per week of service based learning.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Preliminary ReadingIngold, Tim. "That's enough about ethnography!." HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory 4.1 (2014): 383-395.
Duneier, Mitchell. “Race and Peeing on Sixth Avenue,” in Twine, France Winddance, and Jonathan W. Warren, eds. Racing research, researching race: Methodological dilemmas in critical race studies. NYU Press, 2000. Pp. 215-226
Nardi, Bonnie. "When Fieldnotes Seem to Write Themselves: Ethnography Online." EFieldnotes: The Makings of Anthropology in the Digital World (2015): 192-209.
Minkler, Meredith. "Community-based research partnerships: challenges and opportunities." Journal of Urban Health 82 (2005): ii3-ii12.
Sangster, Joan. "Telling our stories: Feminist debates and the use of oral history." Women's History Review 3.1 (1994): 5-28.
Ruby, Jay. "Researching with a Camera: The Anthropologist as Picture Taker." Picturing Culture. Explorations of Film and Anthropology (2000): 41-66.
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