Not available in 2015/16
AN449      Half Unit
Ethnography in Relation to Other Research Methods

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Rita Astuti OLD6.11 and Prof Charles Stafford OLD6.02


This course is compulsory on the MPhil/ PhD in Anthropology and MSc in Social Anthropology (Research). This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

This course considers research practices across a range of social and natural sciences in order to explore methodological issues which are specifically relevant to ethnography. In particular, it focuses on the relationship between evidence and the kinds of inferences and conclusions which are drawn by researchers in different fields. In each section of the course, case-studies taken from different disciplines will be considered in relation to the research practices of ethnographers. The disciplines covered may include: cognitive science & developmental psychology; philosophy; medical science and epidemiology; history; sociology; economics.


20 hours of seminars in the MT.

Formative coursework

Weekly presentations in seminars from weeks 2-4, for which indicative grades will be given.

Indicative reading

R. Astuti et al, Constraints on conceptual development; J. Henrich et al, Foundations of human sociality; R. Lucas, Lectures on economic growth; L. Ross and R. Nisbett, The Person and the Situation: Perspectives of social psychology; W. Lyons, Modern philosophy of mind; R. Rorty, Objectivity, relativism and truth; M. Carrithers, Why humans have cultures; A. Wolf, Sexual attraction and childhood association; G. Davey-Smith, Health inequalities: life-course approaches; A. Molho and G.S. Wood (eds), Imagined Histories: American historians interpret the past.


Presentation (20%), presentation (20%), presentation (20%) and essay (40%, 2500 words) in the MT.

Students make three presentations in seminars (each presentation is worth 20% - 60% in total); an essay of 2,500 words (40%).

Key facts

Department: Anthropology

Total students 2014/15: 11

Average class size 2014/15: 10

Controlled access 2014/15: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information