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Course Details

Fall 2017-2018
SOC 559   P/D/F Only

Organizational Ethnography (Half-Term)

Janet A. Vertesi

How can ethnography help us to understand analyze, and critique organizations? This course delves deeply into classic and contemporary examples of organizational ethnography, inquiring into their findings, methods and implications. How do these studies suggest we approach ethnographic work in the firm, the collective, or on the shop floor? What is the role of formal structures and informal cultures, how are power and identity practiced in the organization, and what are the implications for human action? Our goal is to generate a rich qualitative understanding of how and why to study organizations and their role in social life.

Sample reading list:
Karen Ho, Liquidated: An Ethnography of Wall St
Diane Vaughan, The Challenger Launch Decision
Catherine Turco, The Conversational Firm
John Weeks, Unpopular Culture
Gideon Kunda, Engineering Culture
Calvin Morrill, The Executive Way

Paper in lieu of Final - 30%
Papers - 15%
Oral Presentation(s) - 15%
Class/Precept Participation - 30%
Other (See Instructor) - 10%

Other Requirements:
Open to Graduate Students Only.

Other information:
This course meets from 9/19/17 - 10/24/17. This is a six week course that will be taught during the first half of the semester. Non-Sociology graduate students wishing to receive a grade for this course must submit a completed Graduate Student Enrollment Change Form located at the following URL:

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
22833 S01 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm T        Enrolled:0 Limit:0 Canceled