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module

Undergraduate Module Descriptor

SOC3120: How Organisations Work: Ethnography in Institutions

This module descriptor refers to the 2020/1 academic year.

Module Aims

You will learn how to conduct an ethnographic research project through hands-on experience in combination with an introduction to landmark methodological texts in sociology and anthropology. Instruction will take the form of lectures and ‘practicums’ (where students will apply module concepts to their own ethnographic practice). Some will address challenges inherent in any ethnographic project (picking a site, negotiating with gatekeepers, elicitation techniques, the perils of participation, writing up, and disseminating findings). Others will focus in on characteristic social dynamics of contemporary institutions (reliance on infrastructure, written record-keeping, and the use of statistics). Through a guided project, you will conduct your own ethnographic study of a local institution and present your findings in both oral and written formats.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

This module's assessment will evaluate your achievement of the ILOs listed here – you will see reference to these ILO numbers in the details of the assessment for this module.

On successfully completing the programme you will be able to:
Module-Specific Skills1. Demonstrate a strong familiarity with the major contemporary social scientific approaches to the ethnographic study of institutions;
2. Show an in-depth understanding of specific aspects of ethnographic research like ethics, site selection, dealing with gatekeepers, building rapport, interviewing, participant observation, mapping, document analysis, writing up and the dissemination of findings;
Discipline-Specific Skills3. Critically apply various theories and methodologies to a specific institutional case;
4. Critically assess claims about institutions and socio-political organization more generally;
5. Think critically about the social, political, and anthropological implications of institutions;
Personal and Key Skills6. Communicate effectively in written and oral form;
7. Engage in cross-cultural translation and comparison;
8. Conduct research on a topic and organize findings in written form in a compelling manner.