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What makes a city cool? Is Melbourne really one of the most liveable cities in the world—and for whom? How do different populations (artists, students, migrants from elsewhere in Australia, young and old, people of different genders) experience the city? And who has the capacity to shape the future of our cities? To explore these key questions, this subject gives students the opportunity to undertake ethnographic research in Melbourne. It aims to familiarize students with key issues in urban anthropology that reflect the dynamics of cities across the world. Students will explore processes of place-making, urban migration, spatial segregation, and urban governance and conflict. Working together with peers and teachers, they will conduct research by observing and participating in urban events, mapping spatial and social relationships, conducting unstructured and semi-structured interviews, digital ethnography, and more. Each year, classes will focus on a shared set of themes, sometimes in collaboration with research partners. Overall, this subject will help participants to develop important job-relevant skills, prepare for more advanced study in social sciences, and get to know fellow classmates through collaborative research.
Intended learning outcomes
On successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
- Demonstrate a thorough understanding of how anthropology analyses the urban condition and why its approach differs from those of other social sciences
- Formulate research questions that can be answered by ethnographic research
- Develop practical experience and critical awareness of the strengths and limitations of diverse ethnographic research techniques undertake hands-on research
- Collaborate in groups with people of diverse disciplinary and cultural backgrounds
- Effectively communicate with peers and a broader audience in oral and written formats.
On completion of this subject, students should have acquired skills in the areas of:
- Research design
- Ethnographic methods
- Teamwork and collaboration
- Written and oral presentation.
Last updated: 22 November 2023