The Heller School for Social Policy and Management

HS 429F — Ethnography of and for Policy

Meets for one-half semester and yields half-course credit.

Broadly understood, ethnography encompasses direct and participant observation, informal and formal ethnographic interviews, document review, and virtual ethnography. Ethnography of policy examines its development, implementation, and impact, and ethnography for policy investigates social issues that policies and programs address. This seminar explores two approaches relevant to social policy researchers, Michael Burawoy’s extended case method (ECM) and Dorothy E. Smith’s institutional ethnography (IE), both of which focus on social life as shaped by and as shaping structural forces. This seminar requires each student to conduct a small ethnographic research project of or for policy, with written work tied to that. Usually offered every year.
Nina Kammerer