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SCY2816 - The Ethnographic Imagination

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Associate Professor Harry Ballis


Gippsland Second semester 2007 (Day)
Gippsland Second semester 2007 (Off-campus)
Singapore Second semester 2007 (Off-campus)


Ethnographic research is the art and science of describing a group or culture. It involves the studying groups and/or individuals as they go about their daily lives. A central premise of this unit is that the ethnographer enters "the field" with an open mind, but not an empty head. Before engaging with their subjects, the ethnographer begins with a problem, a theory or model, a research design, specific data collection techniques, tools of analysis, and often specific writing style. The unit examines in detail each of these activities and traces their implications for research and the researcher.


By the time students complete this unit, they will be able to:

  1. ascertain what research methods are appropriate with particular theoretical issues that they wish to explore;
  2. understand the uses and limitations of qualitative research;
  3. gain expertise on how to establish a qualitative research framework;
  4. know how to use The Ethnograph to analyse qualitative data.


Review (1000 words): 25 %
Research design (1500 words): 30%
Report (2000 words) 45%

Contact hours

One two-hour workshop per week


SCY1801 and SCY1802 or equivalents