Course Schedule

Reviewing the Literature and Forming a Research Question

Tuesday, September 13: Introduction to the Course


Thursday, September 15: No Class (SC at Gates Foundation meeting). Independent project reviewing quality senior work.

Optional Reading: Bernard, Chapter 4: The Literature Search


Tuesday, September 20: Framing and Hypotheses: What Makes a Great Research Question?


Part I: Foundational Methods


Participant Observation and Fieldnotes

Thursday, September 22: Participant Observation

1)    Malinowski, from Argonauts of the Western Pacific

2)    Geertz, from Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight

3)    Optional: Bernard Chapter 14: Field Notes: How to Take Them, Code Them, Manage Them

4)    Optional: Bernard Chapter 13: Participant Observation


Tuesday, September 27: Taking Fieldnotes


Thursday, September 29: No Class (SC at Polio Eradication Independent Monitoring Board meeting). Independent participant observation work.


Interviewing (Unstructured and Semi-Structured)

Tuesday, October 4: What makes a great interview?

Thursday, October 6: Professor Peggy Nelson will speak about interviewing.

1)    Peggy Nelson, Single Mothers and Social Support

2)    Optional: Bernard Chapter 9: Interviewing, pp. 210-232


Analyzing Qualitative Data

Tuesday, October 11: Qualitative Data Analysis


An Introduction to Structured Interviewing and Analyzing Quantitative Data

Thursday, October 13: Creating and Administering Questionnaires

Bernard Chapter 10, Structured Interviewing I: Questionnaires, pages 270-277

required, rest of chapter optional

Tuesday, October 18: Introduction to Statistical Analysis



Part II: Research Design


Research Design

Thursday, October 20: Validity, Reliability, and Bias

Elizabeth Pisani, “The Honesty Box,” from The Wisdom of Whores


fall break


Thursday, October 27: Theories of Research Design

1) Geertz, Thick Description

2) Bernard Chapter 5: Research Design: Experiments and Experimental Thinking (required)


Tuesday, November 1: Professor Michael Sheridan will speak about the IRB (combined class with other SOAN methods class, location TBA)

Due: First draft of hypotheses and lit review


Thursday, November 3: Ethical Considerations in Research

1)    American Anthropological Association Statements on Ethics

2)    Deloria, Custer Died for Your Sins



Tuesday, November 8: Sampling: Theory and Method

Thursday, November 10: Exploring Additional Sampling Techniques

Optional: Bernard Chapters 6 and 8


Part III: Exploring Additional Methods

Focus Groups

Tuesday, November 15: Running Focus Groups


Document Analysis

Thursday, November 17: Content Analysis

Optional reading: Bernard pp. 232-239 (focus groups)

No required reading; work on your project proposal!


Cultural Domain Analysis

Tuesday, November 22: How to Map Things that are In People’s Heads


Thanksgiving break


Direct Observation

Tuesday, November 29: Watching What People Do


Discourse Analysis

Thursday, December 1: Analyzing Naturally Occurring Speech

Optional: Bernard Chapter 15 (direct observation), Chapter 18 (cultural domain analysis) 484-492 (discourse analysis)

No required reading; work on your project proposal!


Writing and Representation

Tuesday, December 6: How to Turn Experience into Something People Want to Read

Thursday, December 8: Reflexivity: How Much Should You Be in the Text?

Rosaldo, Grief and a Headhunter’s Rage



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