Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology

Observational Ethnographic Research: Online and Offline

Instructor: Jessica Beyer

The target audience for this workshop is anyone who wants an introduction in how to go about engaging in observational ethnographic research online and offline.



There are no prerequisites or experience required.


This workshop will include three main components. First, we will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of observational research and some best practices for engaging in observational research methods. Specifically, what can we learn using this method? What kind of inquiry is observational work particularly good at answering? What are the drawbacks to using this method? How might it be used in conjunction with other methods? What are some best practices for using these methods? Second, we will engage in an in-workshop observational exercise to practice using observational methods in settings in which researchers are physically present. Third, we will engage in an in-workshop observational exercise in an online setting and discuss how this type of research site might require modification of research practices. Participants will also be provided with a list of resources for reading more deeply into this topic after the workshop.