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Lecture: Ethnography and Political Science

© Sylvia Germes

Lecture: Ethnography and Political Science

On Friday, December 6, 2019, Professor Dr. Lisa Herzog, University of Groningen, gave a guest lecture about the conduct of interdisciplinary research and the application of ethnographic methods in Political Science. In the framework of the SDAC lecture series this event was exclusively brought to the students of the elite Master´s program “Standards of Decision-Making Across Cultures”.

In her talk, Professor Herzog argued that ethnographic approaches can contribute to normative reflection in Political Science in five distinct ways. It can help to uncover the nature of normative demands (epistemic argument); to diagnose possible obstacles encountered when responding to these demands (diagnostic argument); to evaluate practices and institutions against a given set of values (evaluative argument); to probe, question and refine our understanding of normative values (valuational argument); and to uncover underlying social ontologies (ontological argument).

Drawing on her own ethnographic fieldwork research on social banking in cross-cultural contexts, the lecture sparked a lively discussion with SDAC students and was very well appreciated.