Using Philadelphia as the site of students' praxis, this course explores the symbolic meanings and social production of urban life and culture in the nation's fifth largest city. This course is structured as a seminar with ethnographic background readings from Philadelphia and other urban settings to introduce students to the study of the city as a site of everyday practice, as well as training in conducting an ethnographic fieldwork project. The urban landscape provides an intensification of macro processes such as globalization. Such processes and how humans experience them are more easily studied and understood in an urban setting. The class will explore social relational and cultural themes such as the ethnic city, the gendered city, the contested city, the sacred city, the global city, and the aesthetic and expressive city. A diverse range of reading assignments, images, and videos will augment our understandings of urban life. Students will design and execute their own ethnographic fieldwork projects 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