Reviewing ethnographic texts (SVF 3101)

The objective of the course is to provide a tool for exploring and reviewing ethnographic texts. We will work with monographs and theses in order to make you aware of the holistic aspect (“totality”) of the research process of your up-coming master project. While scholarly articles often focus on limited aspects of the research project and have a more clear-cut theoretical or methodological focus monographs and theses provide the richness of empirical material and give insights into the total research process, adressing methodological, empirical, analytical and theoretical issues in a single work.

The final written assignment should:

• enable the student to see how the author has built the arguments and comunicated the objectives of the text.
• raise the consciousness of one’s own reading and writing processes as well as one’s own tacit writting conventions.
• allow the student to work with a monograph or thesis independently and systematically at a later stage.

Before you start the below assignment we want you to watch an extract from an interview with Clifford Geertz  concerning writing and methodology in which he urges for the need to be as self-reflexive in anthropology as in literary criticism. (* see below)

Assignment: Each student will choose a monograph or a thesis and analyse it with help of the Text Review Form (link below) which will provide a guideline for analysis. The form should be downloaded and filled out. If you are unable to fill out the pdf. document (it requires Adobe Acrobat) please copy paste the questions into word document.

Text Review Form

* The full conversation with Clifford Geertz as well as many other interviews conducted by Alan Macfarlane  with influential scholaras from the field of Social Science can be found on youtube. Here is a full list.