Fall 2019 - SA 356W D100

Ethnography and Qualitative Methods (SA) (4)

Class Number: 3844

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 3 – Dec 2, 2019: Thu, 8:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.

  • Instructor:

    Jenny Shaw
    Office Hours: TH 12:30-13:30
  • 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.


Participant observation, interviewing, textual analysis, visual analysis, and more are key methods involved in ethnographic and qualitative research. This course provides students with the opportunity to learn about the significance and limitations of these research methods and practice their implementation through a life story research project. Students will learn how to create thoughtful research questions, work through ethical dilemmas, generate rich data, and analyze findings. Through this course students will enhance their understanding of how methods and theories work together to shape knowledge production. Further, we will consider why a reflexive stance is imperative to qualitative research and how to write accurately, critically, and with care concerning issues to do with gender, race, ethnicity, class, migration, citizenship, and more.


  • Attendance and Participation 10%
  • Reading quizzes (2 x 10%) 20%
  • Ethnographic methods analysis 20%
  • Life story research project 50%


Grading: 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



De León, J. (2015). The Land of Open Graves: Living and Dying on the Migrant Trail. Berkeley: University of California Press.
ISBN: 978-0-520282759

Mannik, L. & McGarry, K. (2017). Practicing Ethnography: A Student Guide to Method and Methodology. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
ISBN: 978-1-487593124

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/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