Graduate Seminar: Soc. 217B/C, Ethnographic Fieldwork


Professor Robert M. Emerson

This course will be organized around the field research project you began at the end of last quarter. While lectures and readings will examine key issues in the methods and logic of field research inquiry, with particular attention to qualitative interviewing, writing up, coding and analyzing field notes and open-ended interviews will provide the core of the course.

We will continue quarter with participant observation and writing ethnographic fieldnotes, but with increasing emphasis on qualitative interviewing . You should plan on spending at least 8 hours a week in your site, participating in and observing the activities that naturally occur there; or an equivalent amount of time planning, conducting and transcribing interviews. So you should continue going to your site and writing fieldnotes, but also arrange and conduct extensive, open-ended interviews with some of those people encountered at this site.

Throughout the quarter we will work on analytic coding and memoing; in the last weeks of the course we will take up these processes in a more concentrated way in working on writing your final ethnography, which is due during exam week at the end of the quarter..