Making Institutional Change in Small Ways: Introducing Institutional Ethnography to First Generation University Students

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 11:05
Location: Hörsaal 6C P (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Suzanne VAUGHAN, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA
Undergraduate students in the United States attending public universities seldom see themselves as change agents in their community or in their work setting. I teach at a large public university where the majority of students are the first generation in their families to attend college, are working fulltime, and often  are supporting families. In  the last several years I have been experimenting with a course in institutional ethnography primarily aimed at this audience. Beginning from George Smith's article, "Political Activist as Ethnographer," I have worked to show students how the research practices in IE unfold for them "how things actually happen as they do" and how their own investigations can provide an empirical basis and strategy for reorganizing relations with the aim of transforming them. In this presentation I discuss a number of student projects and the ways in which their IE research and subsequent activism lead to small organizational changes on behalf of those outside ruling relations