PhD course: Institutional Ethnography
This PhD-course, offered by the Centre for Gender Research, gives an introduction to Institutional Ethnography (IE). It will explore core concepts of IE, and engage with methodological tools and procedures for exploring organised social interaction.
Institutional ethnography is a methodology of inquiry originally developed by Canadian sociologist Dorothy E. Smith as an alternative, and challenge to, mainstream sociological inquiry and social sciences. IE is committed to the exploration of how people's everyday lives and knowledges become organized in local and translocal social and institutional relations. It is better understood as ethnography of institutionalized social interaction, rather than ethnography of specific organizations or sectors. For the institutional ethnographer, ordinary daily activity becomes a starting point for exploring social relations and forces that transcend our everyday lives.
IE is used by researchers across different disciplines (e.g. sociology, gender studies, education, social work).
Aim of course
The aim of this PhD course is to give an introduction to IE as a theoretically informed methodology of inquiry, and engage with methodological tools and procedures for exploring organised social interaction. We will explore core concepts of IE – such as objectification, standpoint, experience, work-knowledge, ruling relations, texts, intertextual hierarchies – and their theoretical basis in embodied phenomenology, feminism, Marxism, symbolic interactionism, Soviet language philosophy. We will also have a chance to discuss publication strategies and experiences.
Participants are required to submit a short paper (maximum two pages) upon registering for the course, informing about their PhD project and explaining how they are using, or consider using, IE in their PhD project. This paper also serves as a letter of motivation for course participation, and as basis for the integrated workshop. The paper should make reference to course syllabus. Participants are furthermore expected to read course syllabus in preparation for course participation and participate in syllabus informed discussions throughout the course, and prepare a 5-10 minute presentation on a core concept or theoretical strand in IE that they are particularly interested in (more information about this will be sent out after course registration has ended). By doing this, they can obtain 3 ECTS points. In order to obtain 5 ECTS points, the participants must in addition to the above, submit a paper of 3000 words to the course leader within two months after course completion. In this paper you should address strands of your own research in dialogue with course syllabus. Those who wish to hand in a paper, do not have to give a presentation at the course.
Participation in the NSA conference
The course is arranged to take place immediately before the Nordic Sociological Association´s conference, which will take place in Oslo from the 5-7th August 2020. The course lecturers – Rebecca Lund, Ann Cristin E. Nilsen and May-Linda Magnussen – will arrange an IE stream at the conference. And encourage course participants to take part in the conference, either as audience or as presenters of work-in-progress papers. If you wish to write a paper for the course this is a good opportunity for presenting early versions and receive feedback. Please keep updated on conference deadlines and our stream.