Summer 2024 - SA 356W D100

Ethnography and Qualitative Methods (SA) (4)

Class Number: 2382

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    May 6 – Aug 2, 2024: Wed, 2:30–5:20 p.m.

  • Instructor:

    Madelyn Prevost
    Office Hours: Tue., 2-4 p.m via Zoom or in person
  • Prerequisites:

    SA 255.



An examination of qualitative field methods, including participant observation, interviewing, archival research, cross-cultural research, life histories, network analysis, mapping, and ethical problems of fieldwork. Writing.


How do we learn about, study, and collect “data” on human behaviour and culture? How is this “data” transformed into evocative writing or other ethnographic materials? This course delves into and presents opportunities to practice key methodological principles and tools of ethnography and qualitative social science research, including participant observation, interviews, as well as digital, visual, and archival research. Students will learn how to develop and carry out a qualitative research project, learn about and navigate ethical dilemmas raised by field research, and transform their research findings into rich ethnographic works. 


  • Describe and explain key methods used in ethnography and qualitative research
  • Apply course concepts and practice different methods of data collection in relation to a specific area of sociological/anthropological inquiry
  • Practice analyzing and integrating data from various sources and sharing findings
  • Critically examine ethical considerations of ethnographic research and recognize ethical research



  • Asynchronous activities (reading reflections) 20%
  • Attendance and Participation 5%
  • TCPS2 CORE 2022 Certificate 5%
  • Research Proposal 15%
  • Fieldnotes 15%
  • Interview and transcript 15%
  • Final ethnographic essay (or un-essay) 25%


Grading: Where a final exam is scheduled and the student does not write the exam or withdraw from the course before the deadline date, an N grade will be assigned. Unless otherwise specified on the course syllabus, all graded assignments for this course must be completed for a final grade other than N to be assigned. An N is considered as an F for the purposes of scholastic standing.

Grading System: The Undergraduate Course Grading System is as follows:

A+ (95-100) | A (90-94) | A- (85-89) | B+ (80-84) | B (75-79) | B- (70-74) | C+ (65-69) | C (60-64) | C- (55-59) | D (50-54) | F (0-49) | N*
*N standing to indicate the student did not complete course requirements

Academic Honesty and Student Conduct Policies: The Department of Sociology & Anthropology follows SFU policy in relation to grading practices, grade appeals (Policy T20.01), and academic honesty and student conduct procedures (S10‐S10.05). Unless otherwise informed by your instructor in writing, in graded written assignments you must cite the sources you rely on and include a bibliography/list of references, following an instructor-approved citation style. It is the responsibility of students to inform themselves of the content of SFU policies available on the SFU website.

Centre for Accessible Learning: Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need classroom or exam accommodations are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (1250 Maggie Benston Centre) as soon as possible to ensure that they are eligible and that approved accommodations and services are implemented in a timely fashion.

The Sociology and Anthropology Student Union, SASU, is a governing body of students who are engaged with the department and want to build the SA community. Get involved!  Follow Facebook and Instagram pages or visit our website.



With the exception of asynchronous activities, all assignments must be completed for a final grade other than N to be assigned. Completing the TCPS2 CORE training is required to undertake the term project. 



Sarah Daynes and Terry M. Williams. (2018) On Ethnography. Polity Press.


Additional readings and materials available through Canvas.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at:

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university.


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the term are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.