Ethnographic Inquiry for Social Work and Social Policy

Course Number: 
58300
As research methods, ethnography uses the researcher's active participation and systematic observation to reveal the meaning, practice, and relations of social world(s). This course introduces students to ethnographic research methods through a combination of reading, discussion, and fieldwork practice. Students will learn how ethnographers design their research projects, undertake participant observation in their chosen field sites (offline or online), write fieldnotes, prepare for and conduct interviews, collect and analyze artifacts, and work with historical and contemporary archives. We will also discuss common ethical and political questions facing ethnographers. Specific consideration will be given to how to conduct ethnographic studies on social work and social policy: what perspective and positionality one might take, what engaged research might mean, and how to think about a study's implication for policy and practice. Throughout the course, students will practice and apply ethnographic methods to small projects, and will be asked to draft the methods section of an ethnography-based study proposal.

Courses are subject to change at any time. Please check mySSA for the quarters, days, and times that courses will be held, as well as room numbers.