RESA: Research School for Swedish Anthropology
PhD course open to: All PhD students in Anthropology or related disciplines
Course title: Ethnographic Research Methods
Dates: 9 November – 4 December 2015
Location: Department of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University
Course coordinator/Teaching: Beppe Karlsson and several guest lecturers
ECTS: 7.5 credits
Contact:, 073-461 1142


9 Nov. 10.00-12.00, room B658

Introduction: Outline of Ethnographic Research Designs.

  • Read: Introduction in Borneman & Hammoudi, and articles by Goffman, Bourdieu, Clifford, Favret-Saada and Ingold.
  • Assignment: Prepare a three minute presentation of your PhD project with focus on problem, theory and method.

9 Nov. 15.00-17.00, room B600

Guest lecture with Dolly Kikon on research in violent settings.

  • Read: TBA.

10 Nov. 10.00-12.00, room B600

Guest lecture with TBA. Theory in the field.

  • Read: Puddephatt et al. and article by Swedberg.

11 Nov. 10.00-12.00, room B658

Seminar about interviewing.

  • Assignment: Prepare an interview schedule for a semi-structured interview.
  • Read: Introduction and chapters 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, 12 in ed. Skinner.

11 Nov. 13.00-15.00, room B658

Guest lecture. An Economist Doing Ethnography with Mikael Holmqvist on his fieldwork in Djursholm.

12 Nov. 10.00-12.00, room B600

Guest lecture with TBA who will talk about the use of statistics in qualitative research.

  • Read: Greene in ed. Skinner.

12 Nov. 13.00-15.00

Visual Techniques in the field, seminar with TBA.

13 Nov. 10.00-12.00, room B600

Multi-sited Fieldwork – Johan Lindquist will talk about his work on migration routes.

  • Read: Hannerz (article) and Hage (article).

13 Nov. 13.00-15.00, room B600

Introduction to anthropological research on nuclear issues and information about the research site; Barsebäck nuclear plant.

  • Read: The monograph by Zonabend (only 130pp) and article by Karlsson.

16 – 20 Nov.

Excursion/Field trip – a pilot study of Barsebäck nuclear plant.
Monday evening we will have a seminar on the art of writing fieldnotes.

  • Read: The book Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes.

4 Dec.

Submission of paper.

Submission of an essay or paper, roughly 8 pages or 3,000-3,500 words long (based on field data and course readings). The paper will be graded as pass or not-pass. Active participation in seminars and in the excursion is a further requirement to pass the course.

Articles (available to download through SUB):

  • Bourdieu, P. (2003) “Participant Objectification”, JRAI, 9(2):281-294.
  • Clifford, J. (1983) “On Ethnographic Authority”, in Representations, 2:118-146.
  • Favret-Saada, J. (1990) “About Participation”, in Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry, 14(2):189-199.
  • Goffman, E. (1989) “On Fieldwork”, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 18(123).
  • Hage, H. (2005) “A not so multi-sited ethnography of a not so imagined community”, in Anthropological Theory, 5(4):463-475.
  • Hannerz, U. (2003) Being there … and there … and there! Reflections on Multi-sited ethnography”, in Ethnography, 4(2):201-216.
  • Swedberg, R. (2012) “Theorizing in Sociology and Social Science”, in Theory and Society, 41:1-40.

Book chapters:

  • Borneman, J and A. Hammoudi, eds. (2009) Being There: The Fieldwork Encounter and the Making of Truth, Berkeley: University of California Press. (Introduction pp. 1-24, and Lisa Stevenson “The Suicidal Wound and Fieldwork among Canadian Inuit”, pp. 55-76 and Sally Falk Moore “Encounter and Suspicion in Tanzania”, pp. 151-182).
  • Ingold, T. (2011) “Drawing Together: doing, observing, describing”, in Being Alive, London & New York: Routledge. pp. 220-228.
  • Karlsson, B. G. (2012) “Nuclear estrangement from Chernobyl to India”, in eds. Hornborg et al., Ecology and Power, London & New York: Routledge.
  • Puddephatt, A. J. et al eds. (2009) Ethnographies Revisited: Constructing theory in the field, New York & London: Routledge. (Introduction and chapters by C.R. Sanders pp. 63-76, L. Wacquant pp. 137-151, D.F. Chambliss pp. 253-262 and D.R. Loseke pp. 263-276.)
  • Skinner, J. ed. (2012) The Interview: An Ethnographic Approach, London: Berg (Introduction and selected chapters).


  • Zonabend, F. (1993) The Nuclear Peninsula, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (available as e-book at SUB).

Reference book:

  • Emerson, R. M. et al (1995) Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes, Chicago & London: The University of Chicago Press.

A copy of the books will be kept at the Anthro dept for those who follow the course; a marked shelf in the CEIFO seminar room/library. The books are for in-house use only; articles by Karlsson and Ingold will be distributed.