PAPVB_25 Ethnographic Field Research Methods

Faculty of Arts
Spring 2013
Extent and Intensity
1/1/0. 3 credit(s). Type of Completion: k (colloquium).
Dr. phil. Maximilian Wilding (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
prof. PhDr. Zdeněk Měřínský, CSc.
Department of Archaeology and Museology - Faculty of Arts
Contact Person: Mgr. Lucie Valášková
Supplier department: Department of Archaeology and Museology - Faculty of Arts
Wed 14:10–15:45 K22
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is offered to students of any study field.
Course objectives
Lecture: As part of a preparation for the practical aspects of ethno-archaeological research, this course aims to make the students familiar with the ethics, principles and fundamental methods of ethnographic field-work. ‘Participant observation’ is a practice of cultural anthropology that involves living with a social group for some time. As an intervention in a guest society that clearly crosses the limits of privacy, ethnographic field research cannot be done without sensibility and critical self-reflection. In the second part of the lecture ethnographers will be invited to give a fresh account of their personal experiences and creative approaches while doing ‘non-armchair research’ abroad. Seminary: In the seminary parallel to the lecture the students are encouraged to make experiences with fieldwork and to apply standard ethnographic methods, in their own ambience first. There will be an opportunity to test different ways of presenting the results and to focus on major issues which became apparent during their first systematic inquiry (group discussions). This will raise the understanding of both the complexity and unique quality of ethnographic fieldwork.
  • 1.-2. Old World approaches to ‘People Abroad’ in historical perspective 3.-4. The dawn of ethnographic study 5. From a distance – The formative period of ethnographic field research starting with the 2nd half of the 19th century. The zeal of the ‘neutral observer’. 6.-7.Side by side - The epoch-making turn towards the ‘participant observer’. 8. Abstraction - Incursion and boom of modern quantitative field research methods in the 2nd half of the 20th century. The incipient diversification and autonomy of field research methods 9. ‘Giving the Others a voice’ - The Post-modern turn towards a collaborative construction of ethnographic realities 10. ‘Watching the Ethnographer’ - Ethic standards and tools of contemporary ethnographic field work. 11.-12 Ethnographic field research in the wake of archaeological excavations. The gains for archaeology and ethnology by applying up-to-the-date field research methods (draft)
  • • Denzin, Norman K., Interpretive Ethnography: Ethnographic Practices for the
  • • Ethnographic Fieldwork: An Anthropological Reader, Antonius C. G. M. Robben and Jeffrey A. Sluka (eds.), Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 2007.
  • • Atkinson, P., A. Coffey, S. Delamont, J. Lofland and L. Lofland, Handbook of Ethnography, London: Sage: 2007.
  • • Whitley, P. M., Archaeology and Oral Tradition: The Scientific Importance of Dialogue, American Antiquity 67(3), 2002, pp. 405–416.
  • • Ethnographer's Toolkit, Jean J. Schensul and Margaret D. Lecompte (eds.), 7 vols., Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press, 1999.
  • • Bernard, H. Russell, Research Methods in Anthropology: Qualitative and Quantitative methods, 3rd Ed., Walnut Creek, CA : AltaMira Press, 2002.
  • • Wayne Fife, Doing Fieldwork: Ethnographic Methods for Research in Developing Countries and Beyond, Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan, 2005.
  • • Fetterman, D. M., Ethnography Step by Step, 3rd Ed., Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2010.
  • • Being There: The Fieldwork Encounter and the Making of Truth, J. Borneman and Abdellah Hammoudi (eds.), Berkley: University of California Press, 2009.
  • • Arab Women in the Field: Studying Your Own Society, S. Altorki and C. Fawzi El-Solh (eds.), Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1988.
  • • The Shadow Side of Fieldwork: Exploring the Blurred Borders between Ethnography and Life. Athena McLean & Annette Leibing (eds.), Malden MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2007.
Teaching methods
lectures, class discussion, group projects
Assessment methods
final project + oral exam
Language of instruction
Further Comments
Study Materials
The course is taught once in two years.
The course is also listed under the following terms Spring 2017, Spring 2019, Spring 2023.
  • Enrolment Statistics (Spring 2013, recent)
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