ANSO 205
Ways of Knowing Spring 2018
Division II
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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? What are the uses and limits of statistical data? What is the importance of history to sociological and anthropological research? How can one use archival and other documentary materials to enrich ethnographic research? What are the empirical limits to interpretation? What is the relationship between empirical data and the generation of social theory? How does the social organization of social research affect one’s inquiry? What are the typical ethical dilemmas of fieldwork and of other kinds of social research? How do researchers’ personal biographies and values shape their work? In the first half of the course, we will approach these problems concretely rather than abstractly through a series of case studies, drawing upon the field experiences of departmental faculty and guest speakers from different professional backgrounds. The second half of the course will be dedicated to a hands-on training in field methods, in which the students will design and undertake their own pilot field projects.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 25
Expected: 25
Class#: 3037
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: full-participation in the seminar, several short papers, an independent ethnographic project and a final research proposal
Prerequisites: ANTH 101 or SOC 101 or permission of instructor
Distributions: Division II
Attributes: EVST Methods Courses
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