Coleen Marie Carrigan
Provides a background for understanding qualitative inquiry. Focuses on ethnographic inquiry and interpretative cultural analysis. Discusses forms of data collection such as observation, participant observation, and interviewing. Also stresses strategies for data analysis and for handling qualitative data.
Stories for Social Change: Culture and Power in Ethnographic Texts
This course provides students the opportunity to become well-versed in critical ethnography, the process of listening, observing, experiencing and writing stories until a broad range of responses begin to create patterns illuminating systems of power. How does one do ethnography in service of social change? What methods and commitments are required? What unique perspectives can critical ethnographies offer to illuminate and transform the root causes of social disparities and injustices? This course explores the reflexive “turn” in anthropology, and its effect on the form and purpose of ethnographic writing. Situated in anthropology’s decolonial and feminist standpoints, it seeks to valorize subjugated knowledge in the discipline. Students will engage with range of critical ethnographies to understand how they operate, for example, how authors inscribe their voice in their texts, how they represent others and the importance of oppositional consciousness in research.
Student learning goals
To review and practice critical ethnography and its methodologies.
To connect scholarship to activism and enable students to blend their educational aspirations with their social change aspirations.
To engage intersectionally with questions of power, representations, and identity politics and ethnographic texts that offer transformational solutions to social ills.
General method of instruction
Class assignments and grading