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The University of Southampton
Courses

HUMA2024 Learning about Culture: Introduction to Ethnography

Module Overview

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • examine key concepts as used by social anthropologists in areas such as: family and gender relations
  • examine key concepts as used by social anthropologists in areas such as: roles and relationships
  • examine key concepts as used by social anthropologists in areas such as: rituals and symbolic meanings
  • examine key concepts as used by social anthropologists in areas such as: Power and language
  • understand important ideas central to social anthropology such as: the social construction of perceived reality
  • understand important ideas central to social anthropology such as: the social nature of apparent individualism
  • understand important ideas central to social anthropology such as: the cultural construction of beliefs, attitudes, actions
  • understand important ideas central to social anthropology such as: the patterns and regularities under the surface of life
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • respond in an informed way to questions of cultural difference;
  • reflect on the links between language learning cultural learning;
  • realise own role as a reflexive cultural learner
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • identify and explore problems
  • communicate effectively with others
  • pose interesting and innovative questions
  • evaluate a project proposal
  • interrogate your data
  • present a coherent argument and use appropriate evidence as necessary
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • use ethnographic methods: to collect data required for your assignments
  • use ethnographic methods: to carry out ethnographic conversations and (if appropriate) interviews
  • use ethnographic methods: to record interviews (if appropriate) and transcribe them
  • use ethnographic methods: to conduct some field observations and take notes in a field diary.
  • analyse the data for your projects: to index the data collected to evaluate evidence
  • analyse the data for your projects: to apply anthropological concepts in order to interpret the data
  • analyse the data for your projects: to verify your interpretations through comparison with other evidence.

Syllabus

The course will introduce you to anthropological concepts, e.g. what is meant by cultural knowledge, values and beliefs, the way these are expressed through language, and how cultural knowledge relates to behaviour and social structures. The course will also introduce you to ethnographic methods, i.e. ways of observing and understanding one's own and other cultural practices from an insider's point of view. As a result, the course should help you to make the most of your present and future experience of living and working in multicultural environments in terms of understanding the people around you, their cultural practices, including their beliefs and values and your own response to them and the social world which they inhabit.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include - one lecture and one seminar (in workshop format) per week Learning activities include - pair- and group-work - preparing and delivering individual presentations - devising a project and conducting fieldwork Innovative or special features of this unit - doing fieldwork in a local context as a way of practical cultural learning

TypeHours
Independent Study126
Teaching24
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

ethnography.com - a group blog on a variety of topics related to sociology, anthropology, and the human condition.

Martyn Hammersley & Paul Atkinson (2019). Ethnography: Principles in Practice. 

Ethnography. Journal http://eth.sagepub.com/ An academic journal that has interdisciplinary interest

Karen O'Reilly (2012). Ethnographic Methods. 

Assessment

Assessment Strategy

The ethnographic project is worth 70% and breaks down into a presentation and an ethnography paper (weighted at 30%/70%). The book review is worth 30%.

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Book review  (900 words) 30%
Empirical Project  (3500 words) 70%

Repeat

MethodPercentage contribution
Book review 30%
Empirical Project 70%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Book review 30%
Empirical Project 70%

Linked modules

I would like for the module to be recoded as HUMA to open it up to more students and increase uptake.

Costs

Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Fieldwork: logistical costs

This is entirely dependent on the small project you are choosing to do. There may be no extra costs or costs may be incurred by trips (e.g. home over the Easter break) you are planning to do anyway. Where relevant there may be some refreshment or public transport expenses.

Printing and Photocopying Costs

A number of course materials are in the shape of handouts and shorter papers and deposited on Blackboard; other materials may come from published books available in the library. While much of the material can be read online, you may also want to print out papers or photocopy from books.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at www.calendar.soton.ac.uk.

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