Spring 2016 - SA 356W J100

Ethnography and Qualitative Methods (SA) (4)

Class Number: 5564

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 5 – Apr 11, 2016: Tue, 5:30–9:20 p.m.

  • Instructor:

    Sarah Rudrum
  • 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.


In this course, we learn about a range of qualitative research methodologies and methods used in anthropology and sociology. Throughout the course, a focus is on how ethical considerations and institutional ethics requirements contribute to research design and practice. To this end, we discuss feminist, critical race, decolonizing, and intersectional approaches to research and knowledge production. We identify and practice the role of reflexivity and positionality in research design and practice in cross-cultural settings and otherwise. Research approaches discussed include institutional ethnography, participatory action research, discourse analysis, visual methods and mapping, interviews and focus groups, participant observation, archival research, and life histories. Case studies and guest speakers provide examples of the application of these methods. We will consider how a critical approach influences data analysis and writing. Students will gain hands on research experience and apply their knowledge by developing a research proposal and portfolio.


  • Participation: 15%
  • Presentations (facilitation): 15%
  • Research Proposal Portfolio: 70%


Where a final exam is scheduled and you do not write the exam or withdraw from the course before the deadline date, you will be assigned an N grade. Unless otherwise specified on the course outline, all other graded assignments in this course must be completed for a final grade other than N to be assigned.

Academic Dishonesty and Misconduct Policy  
The Department of Sociology and Anthropology follows SFU policy in relation to grading practices, grade appeals (Policy T 20.01) and academic dishonesty and misconduct procedures (S10.01‐ S10.04).  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: http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student.html.    



All readings will be posted online and available via canvas and the SFU library. (Readings are listed on the full syllabus.)

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://students.sfu.ca/academicintegrity.html 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. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html