With its multi-ethnic neighborhoods and rich cultural life, Philadelphia is an ideal site for learning how to carry out urban ethnography. In the course, students will understand the ethnographic approach and learn skills to conduct their own ethnography as they explore urban life and culture in the nation's sixth largest city. The course is structured as a seminar in which students will read ethnographic studies of Philadelphia and other urban settings. With our focus on the urban landscape, we will gain an appreciation for the macro processes, such as globalization, that shape the city. Ethnography attends to such processes as well as how humans experience them. The class will explore various themes, including the ethnic city, the gendered city, the contested city, the sacred city, the global city, and the aesthetic and expressive city. In addition to reading assignments, we will look at images, videos, and online material. Students will design and execute their own ethnographic fieldwork project on an urban topic that interests them. Through step-by-step instruction throughout the semester, students will learn qualitative research techniques such as field notes, participant-observation, interviewing, and how to interpret their own data, so that they will be able to complete their semester project.
Comparative and Theoretical Dimensions
Section 601 - SEM
W 0530PM-0830PM