PAPVB_25 Ethnographic field research methods

Faculty of Arts
Spring 2023
Extent and Intensity
1/1/0. 3 credit(s). Type of Completion: k (colloquium).
Dr. phil. Maximilian Wilding (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
doc. PhDr. Jarmila Bednaříková, CSc.
Department of Classical Studies - Faculty of Arts
Contact Person: Jitka Erlebachová
Supplier department: Department of Classical Studies - Faculty of Arts
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is offered to students of any study field.
Course objectives
Lecture part: As research activity staged in the host community ethnographic field research cannot be done without at least some self-reflection, restraint and wariness. As part of a preparation for the practical aspects of ethnoarchaeological research, the lecture part aims to make the students familiar with the ethics and best practices of ethnographic field-work. It is hoped that by the combination of working with guidebooks, first-hand experience & reflexion with professional ethnographers, a very practical understanding of both the complexity and unique quality of ethnographic fieldwork is built.
  • Lecture: 1. Ethnographic Field Research Basics. 2. Why are Cultural Stereotypes Are So Deep-Rooted? 3. Research history of Ethnographic Field Research. 4. The Revolutionary Turn Towards Modern Ethnographic Field Research (analysis of B. Malinowski ‘epiphany’). 5.- 7. ‘A Toolkit for First Practical Fieldwork’. Semniary 8. Project planning. 9.-11. Project presentations (Group discussion). 12. Ethnographers reflect on their first experiences (Guest session/group discussion).
    required literature
  • Julian M. Murchison, Ethnography Essentials: Designing, Conducting, and Presenting Your Research, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2010.
    recommended literature
  • Oakley, Judith, Anthropological Practice: Fieldwork and the Ethnographic method. Oxford: Berg Publishers, 2012
  • • The Shadow Side of Fieldwork: Exploring the Blurred Borders between Ethnography and Life. Athena McLean & Annette Leibing (eds.), Malden MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2007.
  • Fetterman, D. M., Ethnography Step by Step, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2010 (3rd ed.).
Teaching methods
Lectures, group projects, in-class discussion. Lecture part: Aim put in practice by presenting & working with such guidebooks on ethnographic field work that are suited to accompany the first steps of field work newcomers. Seminary part: In the seminary parallel to the lecture the students are encouraged to make initial experiences in their own ambient. As small groups they will carry out an own project (centred on finding the topic & informants, building a rapport, asking questions, openly taking notes, photos, AV recording etc.). In the presentations (group sessions) students are encouraged (1) to apply creative ways of presenting the results the action, (2) to try a reflexion of the first experience & (3) to discuss the real issues which furthered/inhibited their first research attempt ‘with the living’. In the closing part of the course ethnographers will be invited to give a narrative of their past experiences and actions while doing first steps in fieldwork abroad (session). - This will allow students to become aware of parallels with their own experiences, and to see them in a positive light.
Assessment methods
Assessment based on the cross-sum of (1) attendance & communication, (2) project presentation (result discussion), (3) oral final exam. Final exam: centred on topics with direct relevance to the specific experiences of the student during his/her project (‘debriefing’).
Language of instruction
Further Comments
The course is taught once in two years.
The course is taught: in blocks.
The course is also listed under the following terms Spring 2013, Spring 2017, Spring 2019.
  • Enrolment Statistics (Spring 2023, recent)
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