Communication And Culture | Mthds Ethnograph Resch CMCL
C507 | 1208 | Jane Goodman


Instructor:  Jane Goodman
Meeting Time:  Wednesdays, 1:00-3:30

The course explores ethnographic research methods in the study of
communication and culture.  It is designed explicitly to connect the
three departmental “foci” – performance, media, and public discourse –
under the rubric of ethnography.  We consider a range of theoretical
and methodological issues involved in constructing ethnographies of
performance, text, film and other visual media, and public
communication.

The course begins by considering what an “ethnographic” approach to
communication involves.  Through a series of case studies, we then
look at how the social and cultural organization of a range of
discursive practices has been approached ethnographically.  We
consider how to approach the relationship between socially
given “organizing principles” governing collective representations
and the emergent, creative qualities of situated practice.  We also
engage questions of reflexivity, ethics, and power in the practice of
ethnography.

Course work includes exercises in ethnographic methods such as
participant observation and interviewing.  Students will also write
an ethnography (15-20 pages) based on original research (“fieldwork”)
that they conduct during the semester.

C507 satisfies the departmental requirement for a methods course. In
addition, the course is strongly recommended to those who are serving
or hope to serve as AIs in C122 Interpersonal Communication; students
who are taking or have taken C507 will receive preference in the
selection of AIs for C122.