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The University of Southampton
Centre for Political Ethnography

Lived Research Experiences: Ethnography across Disciplines Online Workshop Event

11:00 - 12:30
24 May 2021

Event details

The Debating Ethnography Research Group in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities invites all UoS staff and PG students who use ethnography to the Lived Research Experiences: Ethnography across Disciplines Online Workshop on 24 May 2021 from 11-12.30. This event aims to provide a forum for discussion about the meaning and value of ethnography in and across disciplines and to encourage networking and future research collaborations. Further details about the format of the workshop are provided below.


Ethnography has become one of the most popular research tools used by academics from across different disciplines. For anthropologists, ethnography remains strongly connected to professional identity and is deeply rooted in cultural and social anthropological theories. However, it is understood and applied in a wide variety of ways, which sometimes challenge what anthropologists recognise as its core elements. However, what adepts of ethnography mostly have in common is an interest in putting people back at the centre of the study of social life. Its methodological promise to produce a ‘bottom-up’ people-based,  context-sensitive understanding of society, culture and politics has made ethnography attractive within recent trends in research that are ‘problem-driven’, ‘impact-generating’ or ‘policy-driven’. These have produced a new flowering of both interdisciplinarity and methodological pluralism, often associated with the view that analysing ‘real world challenges’ needs more than the tools of one discipline. Ironically, as the appeal of ethnography has grown, the funding and employment pressures that most university-based researchers face, constrain their opportunities for actually doing ethnographic work.

We invite staff and PG students from the UoS to share their reflections on one or more of the following questions:

  • Why do we need ethnography?
  • How does my research benefit from ethnography?
  • Is ethnography simply a ‘method’ or do you associate specific methodological, theoretical, ethical or political values and commitments with ethnography? 
  • Does ethnography enable new interdisciplinary possibilities?     
  • Does ethnography change your discipline or is your discipline changing ethnography?
  • What is the place of a slow immersive method in the fast-paced ‘policy impact’- driven world that is re-shaping the academic habitus?
  • How does ethnographic work get done in highly pressurised university work environments?                                                                         
  • Can ethnographic approaches be central to a critical social analysis?  


To foster creativity, exchange and reflection the workshop is set in three stages described below:


  1. Record and submit a short video or audio. Share with us a 3-5 min video (or audio) to showcase your research and its relationship with ethnography. Focus on answering one or more of the above questions. Be creative and let us know why your research matters! Recordings must be submitted in .mp3 or .mp4 format only. Deadline for submissions: 7th May 2021, 16:00 pm. *
  2. Review all pre-recorded material. Material will be available for participants before the workshop. Check the videos and think about how your research, methods and/or interests relate to those of your colleagues.
  3. DURING THE WORKSHOP: Connect with us (virtually) to discuss converging points and areas of interest and explore potential for synergies and networking.

*Audio and video can be recorded using your smartphones or default recording software in your computer or device. Recordings must be submitted in .mp3 or .mp4 format only. For questions, concerns or guidance on recording and submitting material, please contact or

The Debating Ethnography team

Dr Heidi Armbruster, Prof Marion Demossier, Dr Adriana Patino, Cristina Argudin-Violante



Please confirm your participation at by 27th April, 2021.

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