Department of Sociology

Ethnography Summer School

The University of Texas at Austin
May 26-29, 2020

The UT Austin Urban Ethnography Lab offers a one-week intensive course on ethnographic methods. The course provides an overview of ethnography as a “way of seeing” the social world and as a “way of doing” social scientific research. Participants will learn about different approaches to ethnography and the place(s) of theory in ethnographic research. They will also examine the need for warrants and puzzles in ethnography, the various ways of reconstructing subjects’ points of view, the role of reflexivity, and the ethical dilemmas present in hands-on research. Invited speakers from the Sociology Department will offer lectures on specific topics. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss their own projects with attending faculty and will be offered a workshop on qualitative data analysis software (ATLAS.ti), and a presentation on human subjects protection protocols.

The workshop will take place at UT Austin from 9 am to 4 pm Tuesday to Friday. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. The primary instructor will be Javier Auyero with guest lectures on specific topics.


Day 1: Introduction. Approaches to ethnography. The role of theory. Research plan. Warrants. Puzzles/enigmas. Points of view. Narrative forms. Reflexivity.
Guest Lecture: Sarah Brayne: “Ethnography and the Criminal Justice System.”

Day 2: Accessing the Field. Rapport/trust. Ethical issues. Internal review boards. Data Production Techniques I (Participant Observation).
Presentation by Internal Review Board representative (Human Subjects Protection).
Guest Lecture: Sharmila Rudrappa: “Ethnography and Ethics.”

Day 3: Techniques II. In-depth interviews and life stories.
Guest Lecture: Christine Williams: “Talking to People: How to Do it and Why it Matters.”

Day 4: Data Analysis and Coding.
Guest Lecture: Daniel Fridman: “Qualitative Coding Software: The Basics of Atlas.ti.”
Ethnographic Writing. Discussion of participants’ projects.

Upload your CV and a one-page (single space) description of your general interest in ethnography and/or your ethnographic project at:
Deadline for applications: February 14, 2020. Applicants will be notified by March 16.

The workshop fee is:
$700 for UT graduate students
$800 for non-UT graduate students
$1,000 for faculty and non-profit sector

For more information, contact Alison Coffey:

  • Department of Sociology

    The University of Texas at Austin
    305 E 23rd St, A1700
    RLP 3.306
    Austin, TX 78712-1086