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    Jun 25, 2024  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2021-2022 Undergraduate Bulletin [Archived Bulletin]

SOC 5930 - Ethnography: Methods for Sociological Storytelling

Goals: To learn how individual people’s stories can be analyzed for their social meaning; to learn about the place of ethnographic methods within sociology, as well as the advantages and limitations of these methods; to learn how to document others, as well as oneself, in images, sounds, and words using ethnographic methods; to learn about the relationship between theory and method, and how to apply theory to ethnographic data collection and writing; to learn how to write sociological stories based upon empirical documentation, using different narrative strategies, to various types of audiences.

Content: This is a course about the stories that constitute people’s everyday lives and the sociological significance of documenting and writing about these life stories. In this course, students will learn to recognize how people’s everyday stories matter, and how these stories can be used to understand the social dynamics of community, the relationship between individuals and communities, institutional power, and social injustice. Students will learn about the methodological techniques social scientists use to collect, analyze, and write about these real-life stories, and they will use this knowledge to conduct their own original ethnographic research project. Course texts include social scientific forms of writing, as well as documentary films, photographs, and online audio and visual texts.

Taught: Alternate years, spring term

Prerequisite: SOC 1110 (grade of C- or better) and junior or senior standing, or instructor permission

Credits: 4