Intensive Ethnography Workshop

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Intensive Ethnography Workshop

The workshop will not take place in 2022 due to ongoing public health concerns. Please check back early in 2023.

Berkeley, CA



The Center for Ethnographic Research (CER) Intensive Ethnography Workshop provides mentorship and advanced training in designing and executing a project using participant observation. Participants will be coached through all the components of a research project. The workshop includes individualized consultations with faculty and is designed for advanced graduate students, faculty, and professionals. The topics in the five-day workshop include the following:

  • An overview of ethnographic approaches
  • Research design
  • The theory and practice of field work
  • Analyzing field data
  • Writing up findings
  • Mixed methods (how interviews, secondary data, content analysis of historical and/or contemporary documents, etc can be combined with participant observation within a single research project)

The Intensive Ethnography Workshop includes lecture, discussion, and coached research exercises, along with networking events. The workshop is intended both for those who are new to research based on participant-observation and those who want to further develop their skills.

The workshop is from 9-5, Monday – Friday, with research exercises and consultations scheduled during these hours. There will be a welcome dinner on Sunday evening. On Friday afternoon, workshop participants will attend a symposium on Beyond the Case: The Logics and Practices of Comparative Ethnography, with a reception to follow.


The workshop will be led by:

  • Martín Sánchez-Jankowski, Professor of Sociology, Director of the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues, and Chair of the Center for Ethnographic Research, UC Berkeley
  • Corey Abramson, Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Arizona, and Researcher, Medical Cultures Lab, UC San Francisco


Please note: the 2021 workshop has been cancelled in the interests of public health. Check back early 2022 for details on next summer's workshop. 


The workshop fee is:

  • $1,000 – graduate students
  • $1,500 – faculty and non-profit sector
  • $2,000 – all others

Early bird discount of $100 for those who register by 5/1.

The fee includes the instruction, the welcome dinner, the concluding reception, and continental breakfast on the five days of the workshop. Participants are responsible for their own transportation and lodging. Participants are responsible for their own meals except as specified above.


International participants are welcome, though you are responsible for getting a visa. You should apply for a B1 visa: "attend a scientific, educational, professional, or business convention or conference." Or, if you also want to add tourism to your stay, apply for a B1/B2 visa.


"I highly benefited from Martín and Corey's experience, insight and expertise. During the workshop I also met many passionate and talented scholars and our discussions helped sharpen the focus of my own research in many ways. The Institute for the Study of Societal Issues cultivates a unique hospitality and its friendly and supportive environment helped me discover aspects for future collaborations." -- Tobias Häusermann, Postdoctoral Scholar, UC San Francisco, and Affiliated Researcher, University of Cambridge

"I'm a product/UX designer in the software industry; a huge part of my job is to understand users and their contexts to design better interactions. Learning about ethnography and participant observation will help me, and my team, to improve the way we collect data and insights about our users. I can't wait to use such a powerful methodology in the research phases of the projects!  Thanks to Martín, Corey, and the Center for Ethnographic Research for opening this workshop to the public." -- Daniela Pardo, Product Design Lead, Schoology. 

"The workshop provided me with an invaluable introduction to ethnography. The quality of instruction, the group exercises, and the personalized consultations with some of the leading ethnographers in the country no doubt equipped me to conduct my own ethnography." -- Paul Houston Blankenship, Gradate Student, Graduate Theological Union

"This wonderful review of ethnographic methods was largely what I came to this workshop for. Well done!  I liked the variety of approaches and the depth of experience and knowledge of the teaching professionals as well as those who led the small group discussions.  Martin Sanchez Jankowski's depth and breadth is inspiring.  Corey Abramson's input on publishing was invaluable; and the conversation about expecting and enduring academic criticism was an important topic." -- Cheryl Crawley, PhD, Leadership Consultant, K-12 School Districts

Please note, we also have a six week summer workshop for advanced undergraduates and beginning graduate students.

Still have questions? Contact 510 642-0813

Center for Ethnographic Research
2420 Bowditch Street #5670
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-5670
TEL: 510.642.0813
FAX: 510.642.8674
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