Anthropology: of the observation to the theory

lpols1113  2019-2020  Louvain-la-Neuve

Anthropology: of the observation to the theory
Note from June 29, 2020
Although we do not yet know how long the social distancing related to the Covid-19 pandemic will last, and regardless of the changes that had to be made in the evaluation of the June 2020 session in relation to what is provided for in this learning unit description, new learnig unit evaluation methods may still be adopted by the teachers; details of these methods have been - or will be - communicated to the students by the teachers, as soon as possible.
4 credits
30.0 h
Hermesse Julie (compensates Servais Olivier); Servais Olivier;
Main themes
Through an initiation with the questions of method in anthropology and the epistemological problems which are dependent for them, the course will focus on the tools for ethnographic investigation and particularly on the production of the data, the organization of a fieldwork, but also on the interpretation of the data and the ethnographic writing, including the passage from description to the conceptualization and the theorization. The course will illustrate these various dimensions of the ethnographic method on basis of great contemporary sets of themes of anthropological work.

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :

1 Initiation with the ethnographic process. To understand the process of production of the data and especially the participating observation and ethnographic interview; To plan the organization of a fieldwork.

The contribution of this Teaching Unit to the development and command of the skills and learning outcomes of the programme(s) can be accessed at the end of this sheet, in the section entitled “Programmes/courses offering this Teaching Unit”.
Contents: 1. The participating observation? 2. Production and statute of the data. 3. The ethnographer as a participant. 4. Evolution of the debate around the reflexive position in the ethnographic production. 5. Systematic of the approaches of field (how to observe and carry out an ethnographic interview, but also what to draw from the investigations in the archives files). 6. Rupture, restitution, ethical questions, and policies of the field. 7. Methods of the writing 8. Description by the control of the glance and the work of writing. 9. Conditions of the "ethnographic translation". 10. The construction of problems starting from the ethnographic data. 11. Reflexions around the analysis and the interpretation of the data.
Teaching methods
Methods: The course is conceived on the basis of preliminary readings, synthetic talks led by the professor and visioning and discussing of support videos. For the first time, the students are brought to think of the process of fieldwork.
Evaluation methods
Oral examination on the basis of  notes, readings and documents.
Other information
Oral examination on the basis of  notes, readings and documents.
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Bachelor in Human and Social Sciences

Master [120] in Anthropology

Bachelor in Sociology and Anthropology

Minor in Human and Social Sciences

Minor in Sociology and Anthropology