Generating Ethnographic Research Questions : An Anthropological Contribution to the Study of Higher Education

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Generating Ethnographic Research Questions : An Anthropological Contribution to the Study of Higher Education

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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title Generating Ethnographic Research Questions : An Anthropological Contribution to the Study of Higher Education
Author Friberg, Torbjörn
Date 2016
English abstract
As part of recent complex transformations, it seems that higher educational organisations are being forced to reorganise, standardise and streamline in order to survive in the new political and economic context. How are ethnographers in general going to approach these contemporary phenomena? By drawing on the conceptual history of anthropology, the aim of this article is to generate ethnographic-oriented research questions concerned with higher education. The first part of the article provides an ethnographic background, while the second part focuses on Paul Willis's reasoning on ethnographic imagination, as a prerequisite for generating alternative research questions. The third part makes explicit anthropologist Maurice Godelier's theoretical imagination, carving out some specific theoretical parts which may be used in the generating process. The conclusion then suggests a number of questions to be asked by future ethnographers of higher education. The questions are followed by a reflection upon the consequences of doing ethnography within contemporary higher education settings, which are increasingly dominated by policy-makers; ethnography is thus to be seen as an intervening instrument.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/17457823.2015.1101386 (link to publisher's fulltext.)
Publisher Routledge
Host/Issue Ethnography and Education;3
Volume 11
ISSN 1745-7823
Pages 345-358
Language eng (iso)
Subject Anthropology
higher education
theory
ethnography
intervention
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/22361 Permalink to this page
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