In this course, we will focus on ethnography as an epistemological practice. Students will be exposed to the multidisciplinary evolution of ethnography from its origins to its application in an urban context. What is ethnography? Specifically, what is urban ethnography? These are the two critical questions that will be answered in this course. We will focus on topics of neighborhood/city membership, gentrification, community, belonging and the importance of place and space. Specifically, we will try to answer the following questions: Who owns the city? Who has a right to the city? Who controls the city? Despite a vast body of literature that illustrates issues of gentrification; we will critically examine controversial debates surrounding ¿Who has a right to the city?¿ that is situated in the process of gentrification. We will interrogate both the assumption that ¿gentrification¿ is good or bad for neighborhoods and their residents. In doing so, we will investigate the processes of redevelopment, housing, displacement, resettlement, employment and transportation. In this course we will engage in a semester-long ethnographic project focusing on the idea of belonging, of neighborhood, of urban sentiment, of feeling rooted (or disconnected) to a specific area (street, neighborhood, area, city, etc.). Students will learn how to do urban ethnography by conducting a research project on the notion of belonging. What does it mean to belong to a place or space? Who defines who belongs and who doesn't? Is it a self-defined status? Is belonging acquired through residency? Or rather involvement? Can a neighborhood be open to newcomers and still preserve an identity? Who defines the identity of a place? All of these questions are at the core of discourses surrounding gentrification and redevelopment, and will be explored using urban ethnography. Ethnography ¿ the method of social research that use full immersion of researchers in their fieldwork to isolate and focus on issues of culture ¿ can be an excellent tool to start a more in depth exploration of such questions surrounding urban culture. This course will prepare students to be proficient in the practice of ethnography. Specifically, it will teach students how to do: 1. A literature review related to belonging, gentrification, and rights to the city; 2. Create a theoretically informed thesis statement; 3. Explain how a project is related to wider social issues concerning Neighborhood, Gentrification, Belonging, and the City; 4. Collect relevant ethnographic data related to the topic; 5. Discuss the significance of the findings; 6. Write a conclusion that is data driven; 7. Suggest implications and recommendations.
The planned operational modality for this class is REMOTE. For more information please visit http://www.provost.pitt.edu/students/student-success-flexpitt/flex-pitt-guarded-risk-posture-all-students-remote/