Ethnography and Fieldwork

Academic year
Subject Area
Área Científica do Menor
Language of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
1st Cycle Studies

Recommended Prerequisites


Teaching Methods

The teaching method is developed from two different types of academic time. The theoretical-practical classes in which the teacher addresses the main themes of the program, and the classes of Practice-Lab where students gathered in groups, present to general discussion, texts, previously selected, alluding to theoretical questions given inadvance.

Learning Outcomes

The course aims to guide students into the general problematics of the production of knowledge in Social and Cultural Anthropology, by the method of Fieldwork and Participant Observation, with particular emphasis on field notes and life stories. The program aims to introduce students in theoretical and epistemological journey, from the point of view of history of production of knowledge in anthropology, with special emphasis on the descriptive empiricism founded by Malinowski, the problem of interpretation introduced by Evans-Pritchard and later developed by Geertz, ethnographic writing by Clifford, and the issue of "self reflexive account fieldwork." On the second point, it is intended to induce in the students knowledge and use of the main methodological tools, with special emphasis on the use of techniques of fieldnotes, interviews and life stories. 

Work Placement(s)



1 – Epistemology of Fieldwork

2 – Malinowski and Participant-Observation

3- Technics  for collecting data: fieldnotes

4- Technics  for collecting data: interviews

5- Technics  for collecting data: life stories.  

Head Lecturer(s)

Jorge Filipe Sousa Varanda Preces Ferreira

Assessment Methods

Research work: 100.0%


  BARLEY, Nigel, 2006 (1983), O Antropólogo Inocente, Lisboa, Fenda. 


BURGESS; Robert G.,  1997 (1984), A Pesquisa de Terreno, Oeiras, Celta Editora.

CABRAL, João de Pina, & LIMA, Antónia Pedroso, 2005, “Como fazer uma história de família: um exercício de contextualização social”, in Etnográfica, Vol. IX (2), pp. 355-388.

EVANS-PRITCHARD, E.E., 1985 (1972), Antropologia Social, Cap. 4, Lisboa, Edições 70.


LEWIS, Óscar, 1979 (1961), Os Filhos de Sanchez, Lisboa, Moraes Editores.


MALINOWSKI, Bronislaw, 1922, “Introduction: the subject, method and scope of this inquiry” in Argonauts of the Western Pacific, London, Routledge.


POIRIER, J., CLAPIER-VALLADON, S., RAYBOUT, P., (eds), 1995, Histórias de vida: teoria e prática, Oeiras, Celta Editora,.



ROBBEN, Antonius C.G.M., and SLUKA, Jeffrey (eds), 2007, Ethnographic Fieldwork. An Anthropological Reader, Blackwell Publishing.

SANJEK, Roger, 1990, “A vocabulary for fieldnotes” in Notes and Fieldnotes: the making of anthropology, Roger Sanjek (ed.) Ithaca, London: Cornell University Press.