Anthropology | Res Meth in Cultural Anthropology
E606 | 6014 | Tucker


This graduate course will expose students to a wide variety of data
collection methods and the practical realities of fieldwork. It
focuses on traditional tools of ethnography, including interview
techniques, participant observation, oral histories, focus groups,
mapping, archival research and surveys. Methods that complement
traditional ethnographic tools, such as spatial analysis, will be
introduced and discussed. The complementarities of quantitative and
qualitative methods will be explored. Guest speakers will share their
particular areas of expertise and experiences with fieldwork.
Class members will develop and carry out a research project related to
the Farmers' Market and food activism in Bloomington. Students will
experience the process of developing research questions, hypotheses,
and a research design. Through this research project, class members
will practice ethnographic techniques, methods of documentation, and
basic data analysis. The class requires a commitment to carry out
research on several Saturdays during the semester. The research will
include individual and team work, and provide opportunities to examine
the advantages and disadvantages of solitary vs. collaborative
research efforts. These practical experiences will inform discussions
of the challenges of fieldwork, including ethical issues, adapting to
unexpected complications, recording and organizing data, and the
dilemmas of data interpretation.