The objective of the course is to provide practical experience in researching and analyzing social and organizational aspects and implications of information technology and digital media. Emphasis will be placed on conducting ethnographic research, writing, and presenting. You will be part of a team project analyzing organizational process and technology-in-use in the community, in a particular social group, at a local business, non-profit organization or service at UCI.
Three streams of activities structure the class. The first and primary activity is your own team-based project work, a small ethnographic project that you will undertake over the course of the quarter. In parallel with this are two streams of reading and class discussion -- one on methods and methodological concerns, and another of exemplary ethnographic papers that highlight issues that you might encounter in the course of your project work.
The class is evaluated primarily through the end-of-quarter report and presentation on your project work, although there are also components in your grade for participation through the quarter and for intermediate deliverables.
The full syllabus for the class is available here as a PDF. I will distribute printed copies in the first class meeting. Note that this syllabus has more details, especially of assignments, than the web page. The PDF syllabus is your primary resource for navigating the class. Please consult it regularly.
The readings are stored on UCI's webfiles service. To gain access, you will first need an activated UCINet ID, and then to register for a Webfiles account.
|4/1||Introduction, course overview, forming teams|
|4/3||Projects and sites|
|4/4||By the end of week one, teams will be decided, team roles assigned, and an initial set of project possibilities identified. Here are Nikki's discussion slides on teams.|
|4/8||The mechanics of participation||DeWalt and De Walt, Becoming a Participant and Becoming an Observer.|
|4/10||Participation, observation, rapport, ethics||Rogers, Reconfiguring the Social Scientist.|
|4/11||By the end of week 2, we'll have decided on project topics and be working on setting the terms and scope for those projects, as well as doing some initial observational exercises. Here are Nikki's discussion slides on literature review and sources.|
|4/15||Gathering material||Emerson, Fretz, and Shaw, "Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes" (only chapter 3 required); Van Maanen, The Asshole; Becker, How I Learned What a Crock Was.|
|4/17||Interviewing #1||Seidman, Interviewing as Qualitative Research (chapters 1, 2, and 4)|
|4/18||By the end of week 3, we will have put together project proposals, be starting data collection, and have learned some methods that are going to be important.|
|4/22||Interviewing #2||Seidman, Interviewing as Qualitative Research (chapters 6 and 7); Weiss, Learning from Strangers (chapter 4); Cahill, Emotional Capital and Professional Socialization.|
|4/24||Analyzing artifacts||Gee, Introduction to Discourse Analysis (chapters 5 and 6).|
|4/25||By the end of week 4, we should have identified initial project themes and be carrying out interviews and observations.|
|5/2||By the end of week 5, the majority of the interview work should be done.|
|5/8||Analyzing data #1||Lofland et al, Analyzing Social Settings (chapters 6-9); Emerson, Fretz, and Shaw, Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes (chapter 6); Charmaz, Constructing Grounded Theory (chapters 3-4).|
|5/9||By the end of week 6, you should be transitioning to analysis, memoing your interviews and developing the main themes.|
|5/13||Analyzing data #2||Saldana on coding. Snow and Anderson, Identity Work Among the Homeless.|
|5/15||Analyzing data #3||Beyer and Holtzblatt, Contextual Design (chapter 6)|
|5/16||By the end of week 7, you should have an emerging grounded theory analysis of your data and using heuristic frameworks to identity important issues.|
|5/23||By the end of week 8, your analysis should be complete and you have started writing the final report.|
|5/27||Reporting results||That's Interesting!|
|5/31||Week 9: Writing, writing, writing, writing...|
|6/7||End of week 10: Done! Phew!|