Field Methods for Development

Subject 121-460 (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008.Search for this in the current handbookSearch for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.500
Level: Undergraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2008:

Semester 2, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable


Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1-hour lecture and a 1-hour seminar each week.
Total Time Commitment: .
Prerequisites: .
Corequisites: .
Recommended Background Knowledge: .
Non Allowed Subjects: .
Core Participation Requirements: .


Dr Hans Baer
Subject Overview:

The subject will focus on ethnographic or qualitative methods, particularly as they apply to development work. It includes a discussion of varying notions of ethnographic or qualitative research, including the notion of praxis the merger of theory and social practice or action. It will discuss issues of entre into a field site and the ethics of social research, including responsibility towards ones subjects as well as ones funding organization. The subject will consider in detail various specific methods or techniques, including participant observation, non-obtrusive observation, field notes, interviewing, focus groups, life histories or biographic research, the use of texts and artefacts, narrative analysis, and visual anthropology and sociology. It will conclude with a discussion of data analysis and writing up ones findings and the issue of reflexivity, which includes an assessment of what is development and development for what and whom.

Assessment: A fieldwork report of 2000 words 30% (due mid semester); a major essay of 3000 words 60% (due at end of SWOT VAC week); and a seminar presentation 10%.
Prescribed Texts: .
Recommended Texts: .
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • demonstrate relevance of the topic to broader development debates.

  • gain and understanding of field methods appropriate for development.


Previously available as 121-509 Field Methods for Developments. Students who have completed 121-509 are not eligible to enrol in this subject.

Related Course(s): Master of Development Studies (Gender & Development)
Master of Development Studies(CWT)
Master of Public Health
Master of Social Health (Medical Anthropology)
Postgraduate Certificate in Arts (Development Studies)
Postgraduate Certificate in Arts (Gender Studies)
Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (Gender Studies)
Postgraduate Diploma in Arts(Development Studies)

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