Anthropology: of the observation to the theory

lpols1113  2021-2022  Louvain-la-Neuve

Anthropology: of the observation to the theory
4.00 credits
30.0 h
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.
Learning outcomes

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.
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, guest speakers, and a mooc with a reverse class session. For the first time, the students are brought to think of the process of fieldwork.
Depending on the sanitary conditions, the course can be given face-to-face or distance learning, or even face-to-face for representatives of sub-groups of students composed at the beginning of the year.
Evaluation methods
Oral examination based on marks and course material. Depending on the health conditions, this exam can be organised in face-to-face or remote exam, but the other modalities do not change, a question of reflection  linking a point made in the course by the teacher, the monograph read and the Mooc, and short questions of knowledge.
Other information
Oral examination on the basis of  notes, readings and documents.
Online resources
A moodle course with articles and teaching aids. An course "discovering anthropology" to follow for the first 2 modules.
3 livres monographiques (choisir une parmi trois selon l'intérêt de l'étudiant) sont proposées à la lecture chaque année.  Les titres varient et sont présentés lors du premiers cours.  Ils illustrent trois modalités différentes de l'anthropologie : anthropologie du proche, anthropologie du lointain, et anthropologie digitale.
Deux livres de méthode sont proposés en complément méthodologique :
JP. Olivier de Sardan, La Rigueur du qualitatif, Academia, 2008.
PJ Laurent, Devenir anthropologue dans le monde d'aujourd'hui, Paris, 2019.
Faculty or entity

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

Title of the programme
Learning outcomes
Bachelor in Human and Social Sciences

Bachelor in Sociology and Anthropology

Minor in Human and Social Sciences

Minor in Sociology and Anthropology