Teaching Materials / Undergraduate Ethnography

Ethnographic Practicum Assignment Topics

This post is part of a series on ethnographic teaching materials for undergraduate students both within and beyond anthropology. In this series, we offer various resources on introducing ethnographic methods to your students, supporting your TA-s, suggesting further readings on ethnography, and providing guidance on ethics approval when needed.

Designing an Ethnographic Practicum Assignment

After familiarizing your students with ethnographic methods, it is usually useful to create a list of suggested topics for your ethnographic assignment. These topics will depend on the course theme and the weight of the assignment, but it will serve as an important roadmap for your excited and curious students. The challenge we often face while incorporating ethnography in undergraduate classes is that most students find it difficult to narrow down their interests and choose a specific topic for their assignment. Far from limiting students’ choices, this list of suggested topics helps students get a sense of how they can structure their project, choose a field-site, or suspend the tyranny of choice.

The list we offer here is designed for a course with a focus on social movements, yet it serves as a template for you to modify and change as you fit. Most of the suggested topics here are designed for a major course assignment (these could weigh up to 15% or 20% of the final course grade). In the following post, we offer a similar list for shorter ethnographic assignments.

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