Conducting Advanced Ethnographic Research - Online


11/06/2024 - 12/06/2024

Organised by:

NCRM, University of Southampton


Dr Alice Stefanelli


Advanced (specialised prior knowledge)


Jacqui Thorp
Training and Capacity Building Coordinator, National Centre for Research Methods, University of Southampton

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Venue: Online


Ethnographic methods are increasingly popular with researchers across the social sciences, but the full potential and possible pitfalls of this complex practice are often overlooked in favour of catch-phrase definitions. This course moves beyond standard understandings of ethnography that depict it as a generic qualitative method founded on ‘participant observation’ to provide learners with a sophisticated, state-of-the-art approach based on cutting-edge academic research. The course will blend theorical and practical considerations. On the one hand, the course examines the theoretical scaffolding of ethnography, recognising that a thorough understanding of the epistemological foundations of the methods we use is essential to conducting rigorous and ethical research. On the other, the spirit of the course is inherently practical and pragmatic, as it aims at preparing researchers to design and conduct ethnographic fieldwork, as well as writing it up for academic and non-academic audiences.

The course covers:

· Epistemology, method, and research design: ethnography beyond participant observation

· Preparing for fieldwork: a pragmatic approach to designing research projects

· Ethics and power: access, collaboration, co-production, and the possibility of decolonising research

· Writing ethnography: from the practical to the political

By the end of the course participants will:

· Grasp the practice of ethnographic research beyond participant observation

· Understand the potential of ethnography beyond the traditional ‘study of culture’

· Have a sophisticated understanding of ethnographic research, from the design stage to its execution and

writing up, including an overview of sensorial considerations and visual methods

· Be able to appreciate the ethical and power dimensions of ethnographic research

· Understand the ethics and politics of writing, publishing, and representing ethnographically

This advanced course is suitable for any researchers equipped with some prior knowledge/experience using both standard qualitative methods (interviews, focus groups, life histories, etc.) as well as ethnographic methods but is interested in advancing their understanding of ethnographic research to a professional level. Researchers working within and outside academia (private sector, government, charitable institutions, etc.) are equally welcome to apply. The course is likewise suitable for postgraduate students in any social science (human geography, sociology, business school, political sciences, area studies, education, etc.), particularly if enrolled or intending to enrol in a research degree (e.g., PhD, Masters by Research, Masters in Research Methods). Please note that this course is also suitable for postgraduate researchers with an UG background in anthropology, as the course if pitched to an advanced level.


Experience using ethnographic research methods and qualitative research methods.

Preparatory Reading

Demetriou, O. (2023), ‘Reconsidering the vignette as method. Art, ethnography, and refugee studies’, American Ethnologist, 50(2): 208-222.

Hage, G. (2005), ‘A not so multi-sited ethnography of a not so imagined community’, Anthropological Theory 5, no.4: 463-475.

Ingold, T. (2014), ‘That’s enough about ethnography!’, HAU Journal of Ethnographic Theory 4, no 1: 383–395

Stefanelli, A. (forthcoming 2024) ‘Reading ethnography in the classroom: complementary strategies to develop students’ ethnographic imagination.’ Learning and Teaching in the Social Sciences.

The course will run from 09:30 to 15:15 both days.


The fee per teaching day is:• £30 per day for registered students• £60 per day for staff at academic institutions, Research Councils researchers, public sector staff, staff at registered charity organisations and recognised research institutions. • £100 per day for all other participantsIn the event of cancellation by the delegate a full refund of the course fee is available up to two weeks prior to the course. No refunds are available after this date.If it is no longer possible to run a course due to circumstances beyond its control, NCRM reserves the right to cancel the course at its sole discretion at any time prior to the event. In this event every effort will be made to reschedule the course. If this is not possible or the new date is inconvenient a full refund of the course fee will be given. NCRM shall not be liable for any costs, losses or expenses that may be incurred as a result of the cancellation of a course.

Website and registration:


South East


Qualitative Data Handling and Data Analysis, Ethnography, Ethnographic research, Research design, Epistemology, Qualitative research, Writing and representing

Related publications and presentations:

Qualitative Data Handling and Data Analysis

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