Ethnographic Field School in Florida

Looking for an ethnographic field school in the United States? Check out this excellent opportunity:


The field school is designed to expose students to the complete chain of research, from posing theoretically compelling questions to identifying the most appropriate methods of data collection and conducting preliminary analysis in the field. Although we introduce students to data management and analysis, the emphasis is on field-based data collection. We will work with students in the analysis of data they collect once they return home, but only if they ask for such mentoring.

We will focus the training on a set of research questions that students, faculty, and community members will work together to address. To take advantage of the research infrastructure and community ties already in place, we anticipate that the 2015 field school with focus either on social and spatial inequalities in food security or on the experiences and consequences of racism among African Americans in Tallahassee. To choose between these alternatives, we will engage students in dialogue with community members about which question is most feasible and of mutual interest.

For whichever topic we choose, we will specify a set of research questions that span the continuum of exploratory to confirmatory research questions and introduce students to a range of unstructured and structured methods of data collection and analysis. The major sets of methods we will introduce include:

    • participant observation
    • ethnographic interviewing
    • systematic methods for cognitive anthropology
    • social network analysis
    • geospatial analysis
    • development of culturally-based interventions

In all cases we will emphasize the links between research questions and the choice of methods for data collection and analysis.

The field school will adhere to principles of community-based participatory research (CBPR), which sustain the ongoing collaboration between University of Florida researchers and community partners in Tallahassee. For more information about these principles, please see the Health Equity Alliance of Tallahassee (HEAT) website. Students will be placed in homestays with families in the Frenchtown neighborhood of Tallahassee and will be paired with community members who will also participate in the training.

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