In Writing the New Ethnography, H.L. (Bud) Goodall writes that “[a] good story is a good read. It gives pleasure, enlivens the imagination, and delights the senses. It appeals as a form of literature as well as a way of knowing. It teaches through the manner of expression as well as through its claims about the world” (p. 195). What do stories have to do with knowledge about communication? Everything!
Ethnography is a word used to describe a broad set of methodologies in which researchers study and write about people and cultures, offering readers in-depth understandings of communication and relationships in specific contexts. In this class, we will learn how to read and interpret a wide range of ethnographic works in communication studies on topics ranging from family secrecy, bullying in schools, college drinking culture, organizational dirty work, friendships across sexual orientation, and communication in the context of grief and death (and more!). In doing so, we explore how ethnographic methods and writing can assist communication practitioners in gaining insight and understanding into real-world problems, a critical step toward social change, social justice and communicative interventions.
Enroll in SCOM 349 Ethnographic Approaches to Communication Studies to learn more about what narrative has to offer the study of communication, including visual forms of ethnography. Take a sneak peak at the ethnographic film based on the work of Dwight Conquergood that we will watch on the second day of class:
Fall 2012 Course Information:
SCOM 349 Ethnographic Approaches to Communication Studies Tuesdays and Thursdays 2:00 – 3:15 pm Instructor: Dr. Melissa Aleman
SCOM 349 is a core requirement for Cultural Communication concentrators and minors. There are no pre-requisites for this class and it serves as a wonderful elective to students in all the concentrations in SCOM, as the ethnographies cover a range of topics across SCOM concentrations including interpersonal, conflict, organizational, health and advocacy studies.