Session 23

E4 Urban Ethnography – Practical Experiences, Lessons and Challenges of the Research Method

Urban ethnography seeks to study the social life of urban residents. This involves examining how urban residents make sense of their daily social worlds, organize themselves in the different facets of life in the urban environment and engage the broader forces that structure the urban life and experiences. Methodologically it involves conducting research work among people in urban and peri-urban areas using intensive and immersive fieldwork that takes place over a relatively long period of time. Urban ethnography involves studying individuals and social groups in the context of the urban environment. It focuses on and places the social experiences of individual and groups at the centre of the research. We examine inter-personal and group interactions with other urban residents as well as social institutions that regulate life in the urban environment such as public officials and social institutions (such as formal professional groups; non-formal groups; religious, ethnic/racial, women groups; diverse urban associations, transport organizations, educational institutions, media, entertainment, neighbourhood and community organizations etc. etc.) that organize, regulate and influence the lives of urban residents. We seek papers from the global north and south that deal with social life, groups and institutions in urban areas and present their experiences, challenges and best practices with doing research in the urban environment using primarily ethnographical methods and techniques.