PhD Course Place
IT University of Copenhagen
Rued Langgaards Vej 7
DK-2100 Copenhagen S Organizers and Lectures
Brit Ross Winthereik Date of the course
Friday 21 May 2010 Time
9:00 - 16:00 Course description
Qualitative data analysis often is a major challenge for young researchers working with ethnographic techniques in an interdisciplinary context, e.g. researchers working in science and technology studies (STS), or in design-oriented research settings. Often researchers have not received any ethnographic training for fieldwork prior to embarking on the Ph.D. trajectory. During the Ph.D. studies the researcher must therefore both learn how to carry out fieldwork, do the ethnographic data analysis and formulate a scientific contribution in an interdisciplinary context. When companies partner in the research this adds an additional challenge as they may have their own ideas as to what counts as a ‘result’.
The literature on ethnographic methods and data analysis used by STS-researchers or in design anthropology is often written by anthropologists. In STS the classical texts (Latour, Mol and others) do not provide much guidance as to how to analyse the ethnographic data that is the foundation of a lot of STS-research. A main difficulty, broadly speaking, is that this literature describes studies of socio-cultural formations and contexts that have been analysed with the purpose of contributing to central debates within anthropology. This aim differs significantly from the role played by ethnography within STS or design anthropology, where technological objects play a major role as objects of study and where ‘the field’ is not a place one inhabits for a shorter or longer period, but a number of more or less diffuse engagements with people and technologies.
The Ph.D. workshop in situational analysis has as its main goal to introduce new mapping techniques that will allow the participants to construct situations from ‘the field’ in ways that invigorate the research project. Thus, a main learning outcome for participants is to get ideas and tools to analyze their material in ways that count as new and interesting in their respective fields of research. During the workshop participants will work with the relationship between research questions, their own fieldwork material and problems of analytical / theoretical nature.
A key inspiration for the workshop will be the book Situational Analysis by sociologist Adele Clarke. The book offers suggestions for how to work with one’s ethnographic material in a concrete, yet dynamic, manner. The workshop will take seriously the ideas presented in the literature to be read for the workshop, of data analysis as a design process that constructs the field and the objects of study. Credits
2½ ECTS Amount of hours the student is expected to use on the course:
Participation: 7 hours
Preparation: 30 hours
Participants must read the following literature as preparation:
Clarke, A. (2005). Prolog + kap. 1-3 i Situational analysis: Grounded theory after the postmodern turn. Thousand Oaks, Calif; London: Sage.
Marcus, G. (1999). Ethnography in/of the World System, the emergence of multi-sited ethnography. In G. Marcus (Ed.), Ethnography Through Thick and Thin. (pp. 95-117). New Jersey.
Thompson, C. (2002). When Elephants Stand for Competing Philosophies of Nature: Amboseli National Park, Kenya. In J. Law & A. Mol (Eds.), Complexities: Social Studies of Knowledge Practices. (pp. 166-190). Duke University Press.
2 weeks before the workshop the participants circulate a short (max 3 pages) project description containing what they study (research question), where they study it (presentation of their field), the primary theoretical / analytical inspirations, a list of already generated data, and a reflection on what else they need to be able to deal with their research question in an interesting way.
It is not possible to attend the workshop without this description, which must be emailed to brwi itu.dk before April 30 2010.
For the workshop participants will carry with them 2-3 pages of excerpts from an interview, 1-2 pages of observation notes, and a ‘messy map’ that provides a visual entrance for a discussion of relations between actors and issues in the field of study (see Chp 2 in Clarke). Participants
PhD students using ethnographic research methods (DOIT, INC, Games, SDG) and who take an interest in constructivist approaches to data analysis.