Ethnography: History, Myths, Theory and PracticeExport this event to calendar

Tuesday, March 5, 2013 — 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM EST

Patrick Watson, who is completing a post-doc in the Sociology and Legal Studies Department, will give a colloquium talk on Tuesday, March 5.

Obviously, this will be of particular interest to those working in ethnographic research in particular, but also promises to be valuable for the rest of us who are interested in methods and methodological debates.  Graduate students, especially those considering the academic job market, are especially urged to attend!

From the précis:

In this talk, I will examine the history of ethnographic research, particularly its adoption into sociology and it's resultant dispersal through academic and industrial research.  I will not claim there is a singular approach called 'ethnography', and in the process, I will confront some of the myths perpetuated by parties interested in claiming ethnography as their own.  I will join Wolcott (1973) first and foremost in confronting the myth that Ethnography is a (set of) method(s), instead favouring the position that ethnography is a matter of perspective towards the nature of empirical social research.  I will subsequently present a number of the theoretical (epistemological and ontological) arguments made to support various positions for deploying observational methods in the social studies, settling on Peter Winch's (1958; 1964) conception of social research, particularly with relation to understanding situated cultural practices on their own merits, and 'meaningful' social action as action oriented towards rules.  I will conclude by demonstrating two 'atypical' ethnographic studies that overcome the problems posed by ethnographers who insist on 'methodologically fetishized' (c.f. Garfinkel 1967) conditions to ethnographic research.

Location 
PAS - Psychology, Anthropology, Sociology
Room 2030
200 University Avenue West

Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1
Canada

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