Ethnography OpenCourseWare: A Free MIT Graduate Study Anthropology Course

Published Jan 15, 2009

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Graduate students pursuing a master's degree in Anthropology or a related field may be interested in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT's) OpenCourseWare, 'Ethnography.' This graduate-level class looks at the anthropological methods employed in ethnographic fieldwork and writing. Students should complete a course on anthropology before taking this course.

Ethnography: Course Specifics

Degree Level Free Audio Video Downloads
Graduate Yes No No Yes

Lectures/Notes Study Materials Tests/Quizzes
No Yes No

Ethnography: Course Description

In MIT's 'Ethnography' course, students learn the experimental system used by anthropologists called ethnography. This system is used to determine the relationship between collected or observed data and the explanation or hypothesis under which the anthropologist is working. Professors Joseph Dumit and Michael M. Fischer have put together an extensive reading list for their course. The readings progress through a series of topics, including transference and countertransference, ethnomethodology from the native's point of view, advocacy, advertising and critique and translation. During the course, students are encouraged to create a genealogy of their own family. Other suggested exercises include a thorough analysis of a social or professional event using Deep Play by Geert'z as an example or conducting a critical reading of Proof by David Auburn. Finally, students may also be interested in critically analyzing a piece of advertising in order to cement the topics studied in this challenging course. Students embarking on this course should have prior knowledge or coursework in anthropology. The graduate-level course is presented by MIT's Science, Technology and Society Department.

The OpenCourseWare for 'Ethnography' includes an extensive reading list with bibliography and references. Descriptions of the assignments and course exercises are also available. To download the materials or to learn more, visit the ethnography course page.

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