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Clark University Home > Academic Catalog

Clark University    
  Sep 21, 2017
2017-2018 Academic Catalog

ID 132 - Research Methods for International Development and Social Change

This course examines the value of ethnographic forms of research and knowledge production, its conceits, as well as its limits. While other genres of research design and methods will be considered, the primary focus will be upon qualitative ones, including participatory techniques developed by field practitioners. Special emphasis will be placed upon cultivating a critical stance towards these methods, the cultural assumptions that underlie them, and the impact relations of power have upon the research process as a whole. Towards this end, assignments (including a mini-ethnography) are designed to help students: 1) design their own research project; 2) select methods that are appropriate to it; 3) gain the intellectual flexibility and confidence to make adjustments as necessary in “the field”; and 4) to reflect upon the inter-personal dynamics of the research process during the write up phase of their project.