Ethnography & Social Change Conference

| September 3, 2010

Friday September 24th, 2010
Columbia University

This conference examines the ways that ethnographic research has, and can have, an impact on public perception of health issues, on political action, and on policy.  What can we learn from socially engaged, theory-building ethnographers about the ways they have or have not maximized the social impact of their work?  What can we learn from commentators who are not ethnographers, but who bring public attention to research findings (such as journalists, policy makers), about missed opportunities to achieve social change with ethnography?

Speakers including Elijah Anderson, Philippe Bourgois, Didier Fassin, Troy Duster, Keith Wailoo, Stacy Pigg, Emily Martin and Kim Hopper will discuss three topics of public relevance that have been addressed ethnographically: Global Health, Community Violence, and the Scientific Construction of Race.  Discussants, who are journalists and policy makers, will comment on the ways that ethnography on the selected topics might have broader public impact.

This one-day conference, part of a Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholars Program-sponsored working group on Ethnography and Social Change, is a step toward theorizing the cultural-political impact of ethnography itself ? how that impact can be maximized, and how ethnographers may be self-limiting their impact.

The conference is free and open to the public, but space is limited, and registration requires a commitment to attending the full program.

For information and registration, go to: