RESA: Research School for Swedish Anthropology
PhD course open to: PhD students in Anthropology and related disciplines
Course title: Ethnographic Research Methods
Dates: 9 March – 3 April 2020
Location: Department of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University, (Room B600)
Course coordinator/Teaching: Bengt G. Karlsson and guest lecturers from the department
ECTS: 7.5 credits
Course fee: 2 000 SEK (For travel and accommodation)
Contact and apply: E-mail:, phone: 0734-611142


Week 1

Monday 9/3, 10-12

  • 10 - 12 Introduction - Course outline and an introduction to what ethnographic research is and is not. 
    Read: Goffman, Clifford, Favret-Saada, Bourdieu, Borneman & Hammoudi (introduction) and Ingold.
  • 15 - 17 - Individual projects, prepare a 5 minute presentation of your PhD project with focus on your planned fieldwork.

Tuesday 10/3

  • 10-12 Guest Lecture with Hege Hoyer Leivestad: The Ethnography of mobile materials and infrastructures. Read: Leivestad.
  • 10/3 13-15 Guest lecture with Anette Nyqvist: Doing ethnography in and among complex organizations.
    Read: Nykvist, Marcus, Hannerz and Hage.

Wednesday 11/3

  • 10-12 Guest lecture with Johan Lindquist: New Methodological Approaches in Digital Anthropology. Read: Lindquist, Swedberg.  
  • 13-15 Guest lecture with Annika Rabo: Ethical Challenges in Ethnographic Research:
    Read: Falk Moore (in Borneman), Code of Ethics of the American Anthropological Association and research application (hand out).

Thursday 12/3

  • 10-12 Guest lecture with Ivana Macek: Participant Observation in Deadly Fields. Read Macek, Stevenson (in Borneman).
  • 13-15 Seminar on Ethnographic Interviews, prepare a semi-structured interview.
    Read: Skinner (selected chapters).

Friday 13/3

  • 10-12 Guest lecture with Susann Baez Ullberg: The Anthropology of Natural Disasters: The Great Forest Fire of Västmanland, 2014.
  • 13-15 Fieldwork seminar.

Week 2

Monday 23 March to Friday 27:
Fieldwork in Norberg, Bergslagen. Interviews and participant observations during the days and seminars during evenings. Read: Emerson. Transport from Stockholm and accommodation will be organized and covered through the course fee.  Meals will be cooked jointly and paid by the participants themselves.



Submission of Final Paper Friday April 3. The paper will be based on the fieldwork and course readings, approximately 5-7 pages.



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


Goffman, E. (1989) “On Fieldwork”, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 18(123).

Hage, G. (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.

Lindquist, J. (2018) “Illicit Economies of the Internet”, in Made in China Journal, Vol. 3(4): 88-92.

Marcus, M. E. (1995) “Ethnography In/Of the World System: The Emergence of Multi-Sited Ethnography”, in Annual Review of Anthropology, vol. 24: 95-117.

Swedberg, R. (2012) “Theorizing in Sociology and Social Science”, in Theory and Society 41: 1-40.

Book chapters (through the department):

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.

Leivestad, H. H. “Inventorying Mobility: Methodology of Weels”, in Methodologies of Mobility, eds. A. Elliot, R. Norum & N. B. Salazar.

Nyqvist, Anette. 2017. “Scheduled Schmoozing: Notes on Interludal Practices at Responsible Investors’ Conferences” in Ethnographies of Conferences and Trade Fairs: Shaping Industries, Creating Professionals, eds Høyer Leivestad & Nyqvist. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

Macek, I (2018) “Experience, Empathy, and Flexibility: On Participant Observation in Deadly Fields,” in Antonius C. G. M. Robben (ed.) A Companion to the Anthropology of Death. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, pp. 237-248

Skinner, J. ed. (2012) The Interview: An Ethnographic Approach, London: Berg (Introduction and selected chapters).

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