Fieldwork - SIMM25

7,5 credits

The term ‘fieldwork’ grasps several traditions within the social sciences from the urban research of the Chicago School of Sociology to the classical participant observation undertaken over an extended period of time, at the core of anthropology.


Ethnographic in-dept fieldwork

The aim of the course is to explore the strengths of ethnographic in-depth fieldwork as a data collection method and the many techniques which it embraces such as observations, interviews, narratives, memories, focus group conversations, questionnaires, and text reading. 

Fieldwork, as a practice and comprehensive knowledge production method, will be discussed at the course in a critical theoretical perspective. Ideas regarding the importance of ‘being there’, afar or home in urban or rural sites of peace or conflict, will be examined on a backdrop of gender, age, race/ethnicity, sexuality, and class. In this light, challenges and questions generated in connection with the ethnographer ‘going there’, ‘being there’, ‘leaving’, and ‘returning’ will be examined to understand how emotions, experiences, collaboration, representation, and ethics inform the conduction of fieldwork in a postcolonial world and the knowledge in which it results.   

A word from the Course Coordinator

"The scholars teaching at this course come from various social science disciplines. Common for the teachers is that we have all conducted ethnographic fieldwork in the ‘Global South’ and/or the ‘Global North’. In doing so, we have dealt with the joys and challenges involved in preparing and conducting fieldwork and following in processing and analyzing data which eventually are turned into texts."

Course coordinator

Helle Rydström bild

Helle Rydström
Professor, Department of Gender Studies

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Excerpts from student evaluations

”It allows a lot of reflexivity about the proceeding of fieldwork.”

“[The most satisfactory aspect of the course was] the practical layout. The focus was more on our reflexivity, rather than ability to quote course literature.”

“Practical experiences of the 'reality'.”