Ethnographic Research Design and Methods

Anthropology College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Course Description

This course has two related foci. First, students will practice the methods of ethnographic research, including best practices for participant observation interviewing, among other methods. To this end, students will conduct a mini-ethnography over the course of the semester. Second, students will develop and write a research proposal for the research they will carry out in their field schools. This research proposal will include a research question, a review of the literature that will motivate the research question, a description of the site where the research will be carried out, and an outline of the methods to be used in data collection and analysis. Students will be able to explain ethical research practices and they may need to pursue IRB approval as well.

When Taught











300-level regionally relevant courses in the geographic area of interest


Research Design and Methods

Learning Outcome

Through this course, students will learn principles of good research design, and will be trained in a variety of methods for social science research.  By the end of this course, students will have used this training to develop a proosal for a theoretically innovative research project, including laying out valid and reliable methods for answering the research question.  By the end of this course, students will have developed the ability to effectivey critique research designs and assess the relative validity and reliability of other research projects.  This includes the skills to critically assess the connections between evidence and theoretical claims in social science research.