Data Ethnography

Undergraduate course, Smith College, Statistical and Data Sciences, 2023

This course introduces the theory and practice of data ethnography, demonstrating how qualitative data collection and analysis can be used to study of data settings and artifacts. Students will learn techniques in field-note writing, participant observation, in-depth interviewing, documentary analysis, and archival research and how they may be used to contextualize the cultural underpinnings of datasets. Students will learn how to visualize datasets in ways that foreground their sociopolitical provenance in R. Students will also learn how ethnographic methods can be leveraged to improve data documentation and communication. The course will introduce debates regarding the politics of technoscientific fieldwork. See course syllabus.