Ethnographic Research MethodsResearch proposal
Write a research proposal for your mini ethngraphy. This must include three months of field research, either in the U.K. or abroad. Imagine that you all have 1500 pound part research support grant from the university, which can be utilized from September 1, 2016, onwards. Your research and the written ethnography should be done by February 28th 2017. The last date to submit a penultimate draft to be read by me is February 10th. February 28th deadline is non-extendable.
A research proposal- A plan of action and a rationale for research. A proposal explains the significance of your research, describes its broader relevance, shows how it builds on and is situated within existing research, and outlines the work you intend to do.
1. A clear outline of your research topic and research questions- Topic, where, research questions, brief background (what made you interested), history of the social scene, location
2. A literature review, situating your project in terms of the relevant theoretical concepts and ethnographic context
3. A description and justification of your proposed research site- country, region, town, village, community, institution- in detail (Why this place and not the other relevant places)
4. An account of your proposed research methods; including how using these methods in the research site will enable you to address your research questions (Why these methods and not the other methods that ethnographers use)
5. A thorough consideration of the foreseeable ethical issues raised by your research and your approach to dealing with them
6. An account of the necessary practical arrangements- language proficiency, visa and travel insurance, permissions and contacts (explain how you made contacts and what networks you are plugged into)- demonstrating the viability of your project
7. A budget showing estimated costs and any anticipated additional sources of funding (personal funds, savings, loans are legitimate as well)
8. A time table- Background readings, networking, travel arrangements, research, analysis, and writing up
9. Bibliography- (All references in any accepted major style (Chicago manual of style or MLA preferred)
1. A literature review- A critical review of the current status of scholarship in your chosen topic. A good literature review go beyond simple descriptions to link the proposed project with broader questions, debates and gaps in anthropological knowledge, showing how your project will add to this body of work. It should show that you have identified and engaged with the theoretical and ethnographic literature relevant to your topic.
2. Research Methods- (Primary)- Participant observation, informal conversations, in-depth and semi-structured interviews, audio visual recording. In short projects one can use focus groups, elicitation methods (asking participants to record their lives in photos, videos, diaries, paintings etc.) participatory methods (getting your research participants to collaborate in generating data (making maps etc.)
Secondary research methods- libraries, archives, newspapers, documentaries, websites, films, artifacts and photos
3. Ethical considerations- confidentiality and consent; Conflict of interest; risk management (protecting oneself and others); responsibility to the others (university, funders, future researchers)
Research Questions- Refer to the handout
Budget and Time table: refer to the handout from the text book. Pg. 34-35
The final document should be professionally presented; double spaced, printed on one side of the paper in 12 point font. Edit for grammar and style mistakes and run the spell checker.
SC 277 Handout on Writing
Sorting Field data-
Thematical and chronological organizing
Visual data- coding
Interpreting data- analysis is done through embedding your data in a particular body of literature. –one should be able to articulate why something is interesting and then connect it to more general social questions.
1. Consider the audience
2. Revisit and rewrite your proposal
3. Sort field data and free write
4. Make mind maps
5. Make an outline
Describing methods and difficulties (your positionality)
Argument, main points and evidence
Zooming in and out
Summarize the argument
Revisit the introduction and connect the argument and main set of evidence with your research questions
Readings to guide you:
Jeffrey, Laura and Natalie Konopinski (2014) “Planning your research project” In Konopinski (ed) Doing Anthropological Research.
Fontein, Joost (2014) “Doing Fieldwork: Research Practicalities”. In Konopinski (ed) Doing Anthropological Research.
Kelly, Tobias (2014) “The search for anthropological questions.” In Konopinski (ed) Doing Anthropological Research.