ANSO 205
Ways of Knowing Spring 2025
Division II

Class Details

An applied exploration of how one makes sense of the social world through fieldwork. Some of the key questions of the course are: What are the philosophical and epistemological underpinnings of social inquiry? How does one frame intellectual problems and go about collecting, sifting, and assessing field materials? How do qualitative and quantitative approaches to social inquiry differ? How are they similar? What is the importance of history to sociological and anthropological research? How do social researchers use archival and other documentary materials to interpret society? What is the relationship between empirical data and the generation of social theory? What are the ethical dilemmas of fieldwork and of other kinds of social research? How do researchers’ personal biographies and values shape their work? We will approach these problems both abstractly and concretely, through readings in epistemology as well as a series of case studies, drawing upon the field experiences of departmental faculty and guest speakers. The course will also feature hands-on training in field methods, in which students design and undertake their own pilot field projects.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 19
Expected: 19
Class#: 3245
Grading: no pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: full participation in the seminar, several short written assignments, and a final research essay/proposal
Prerequisites: ANTH 101 or SOC 101 or permission of instructor
Enrollment Preferences: Anthropology and Sociology majors
Distributions: Division II
Attributes: EXPE Experiential Education Courses

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