Course syllabus

 Swedish Society.jpg


Welcome to the course Ethnography & Multiculturalism, 7,5 ECTS.


About the course

Course Convenor: Nadia Lovell



Wishing you a very warm welcome.

Nadia Lovell



The objective of the course is to give in-depth knowledge of how ethnicity, pluralism and inclusion are socially organized and appears as empirical phenomena through ethnographic methods and analyses.


Expected outcome

After completing the course the student is expected to:

  • Possess an in-depth understanding of concepts and processes of segregation, exclusion and inclusion;
  • Be able to implement ethnographic methods in multicultural contexts;
  • Be able to analyse, turn empirical data into reports and adapt proposals that foster processes of inclusion;
  • Have the skills to co-operate with different practitioners in society.



The course consists of lectures and seminars headed by academics and professionals from organizations working with research and evaluation. It will provide theories and ethnographic tools for working with multiculturalism in state organizations, municipalities and NGOs. The course also includes practical assignments such as conducting interviews, observations, how to analyze and turn field material into usable research findings.


The course is comprised of the following: lectures, seminars, fieldwork and/or counselling. Language of instruction is English.



The examination will be in one or a supplementary of the following: home exam, memo

writing, group work, active seminar participation and/or oral exam.


Lectures and seminars


The course consists of lectures, seminars based on readings and written assignments and a final assignment – an ethnographic presentation as a pod cast.


The course is structured according to 4 themes such as

  • Introduction: Locality and Belonging
  • The Political and Social Organization of Cultural Differences
  • Analytical Tools: What is Whiteness?
  • Between the Emic and the Ethic: The Art of Ethnographic Presentation



Attendance requirements


The occasions are compulsory and absence requires supplementary assignments.


Preparations for seminars

Most seminars should be prepared by written assignments, turned in through Studium in advance, the day before the seminar at the latest. More instructions will be presented below in the schedule. This course information document will be revised with more detailed information during the first week of the course.  





Schedule Time Edit

Schedule, Literature & Assignments

Thursdays 14.15-16, Room 3-2028


Slot 1: Introduction. Locality & Belonging

January 20, Lecture /seminar: Locality & Belonging 

Nadia Lovell

Reading 1:

    • Anderson, Benedict. Introduction. Imagined communities: Reflections on the origin and spread of nationalism- 2006 - Verso books. Book Chapter. (Full text online at the University Library) B Anderson
    • Lovell, Nadia  Introduction in Locality and Belonging. Routledge 2006. Book chapter. (Full text online at the University Library).
    • Lentz, Carola. Culture: The Making and Unmaking of an Anthropological Concept. In Zeitschift fur Ethnologie 2017. Article. (Available as a PDF at the University Library)


January 27, Seminar: A guided tour – images of diversity in Uppsala, or Stockholm or another part of the world

Nadia Lovell

To the seminar: Reading 2

Brice Heath, Shirley 1995. Ethnography in Communities: Learning the Every Day Lives of America’s Youth. In Handbook of Research on Multicultural Education, James A. Banks & Cherry E. McGee Banks (eds). London: McMillans. 12 p.

Kusenbach, Margarethe 2003. Street Phenomenology. The Go-Along as an Ethnographic Research Tool. Ethnography, Vol 4(3). 27 p.

Marcus, George, E. 1995. Ethnography in/of the World System: The Emergence of Multi-Sited Ethnography. Annual Review of Anthropology, Vol. 24. (1995), pp. 95-117.

Moretti, Christina 2017: “Walking”, in: Elliott Denielle and Culhane Dara (eds.), A Different Kind of Ethnography: Imaginative Practices and Creative Methodologies, North York, Ontario: University of Toronto Press, 91-111. 20 p.


+ selected parts of Reading 1


Seminar assignment

  • Read the literature under Reading 2. Take a walk in the city or your neighbourhood. Use your mobile camera to document traces, places, images and issues that particularly catch your interest. Focus on diversity, absence and change (see Moretti, etc.). Let your tour be an ethnography of social and cultural space making.


  • Get inspiration with help of questions like these: How can places be represented by your images and interpretations of them? What do you know about them (today and back in time)? What do you see and what has changed (physically, socially and culturally)? How is the current place filled with meaning because of what is not there anymore? Can you trace changes due to other changes over time? If it is possible, what people you meet tell you about the places (see Moretti and Kusenbach as inspiration). 


  • Select three images to create a visual tour of your walk, in order to guide somebody else through it. Submit a document of approximately 500 words with your pictures at Studium under “Discussions” the day before the seminar. Then your course mates can download it if necessary.


  • Which comments would you offer at each location to the persons you would be guiding? What would you like her/him to appreciate, understand, or consider about the place? What kind of presences or absences does it evoke? How do you explain these absences to others not familiar with the place. Be reflexive about your understanding!


  • During the seminar the tours will be staged in smaller groups, where you can take your classmates on the visual tour. Each presentation will take 15 minutes. Notice what comments and associations you get from different people in your group. Are there different kinds of conversations around the images? Do they affect your understanding of the images and which associations they can give at hand?


  • End the seminar by summarizing general and particular phenomena that appear when you apply a multi-sited approach (Marcus 1995). The multi-sited approach means that the group asks the same empirical and analytical questions to each guided tour. For example, what is recurrent in your tours and what is peculiar when it comes to changes of places, everyday life, and peoples’ behaviour and strategies? Write notes about the result and send them by mail to Nadia.



Slot 2 The Political and Social Organization of Cultural Differences

Oscar Pripp


February 3, Lecture /seminar: The Political and Social Organization of Cultural Differences 

Oscar Pripp

Reading 3

Anthias, Floya 2001. New hybridities, old concepts. The limits of culture. Ethnic and Racial Studies, vol 24, s. 619-641. 20 p.


Khosravi, Sharam 2016. “Engaging Anthropology: An Auto-Ethnographic Approach”, in Bringa, Tone, and Synnøve Bendixsen, eds. Engaged Anthropology: Views from Scandinavia. 1st ed. 2016 edition. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan. 18 p.  Link:


Müller, Jan-Werner 2016. What is Populism? Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 1-40. 40 p.,Book%20Review,t%7CContentType,Newspaper%20Article,t&q=What%20is%20populism#!/search?ho=t&fvf=ContentType,Book%20Review,t%7CContentType,Newspaper%20Article,t&l=sv-SE&q=What%20is%20populism 


Schierup, Carl-Ulrik, Aleksandra Ålund & Anders Neergaard (2018) “Race” and the upsurge of antagonistic popular movements in Sweden, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 41:10, 1837-1854, 14 p. To link to this article: 


Vertovec, Steven 2007. Super-diversity and its implications. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 30(6):1024-1054. 10 p.


Ålund, Alexandra & René León-Rosales 2017. Becoming an Activist Citizen: Individual Experiences and Learning Processes within the Swedish Suburban Movement. Journal of Education and Culture Studies, Vol 1, No 2017, pp. 123-136, 13 p.


February 10, Seminar: The political and social organization of cultural differences

Oscar Pripp

Literature: Reading 3 above and some literature from Reading 1.

Seminar assignment

1 Choose a site / community / party / association / organization on the web:

  • that is critical to multiculturalism, immigration, refugees etc.
  • that celebrates and boosts one nation / people / region etc.


2 Collect an empirical material that shows what they hold for truth:

  • policies, statements, programs, activities, dialogues, debates, interaction, good and bad scenarios, dystopias, images, films, etc.

3 Write a reflection paper:

Start with the Emic perspective and give empirical examples (narratives, symbols, etc.):

  • What pictures of people, society and the world do they present?
  • Do they comment the pandemic Corona virus (and how)?
  • How do they do comparisons and how do they logically explain their world view and ideology?

Continue with the Ethic perspective:

  • What kind of ideologies and discourses do you find about topics such as ethnicity, diversity, culture, multicultural(ism), nation(alism)?
  • How do the categorizations intersect between social identities/categories (like gender/ethnicity, class/ethnicity, age, etc.)?
  • In what sense could you understand this movement as racist?
  • In what sense could you understand this movement as populist?

The reflection paper:

  • 1300 – 1500 words, and turn it in to Studium the day before the seminar, 12:00 at the latest.
  • Number the pages, and include your name on every page. Make sure that the paper is carefully organized and includes proper references to the course literature where appropriate.


  • Use the course literature. Be strictly scientific; do not declare your personal feelings and opinions. This is an exercise in applying an etic perspective and analysis, how to turn something emic to something ethic.


Slot 3 Analytical tools: White?

Nadia Lovell


February 17, Lecture / seminar: White?

Nadia Lovell

Reading 4:

  • Ahmed, Sara. A Phenomenology of Whiteness. In Feminist Theory 2007. Sage Publications. Article. (Available as a PDF at the University Library)


February 24, Seminar: White?

Nadia Lovell

Reading 4: See above.


Seminar assignment:


This week, your assignment will consist of multi-sited observations relating to the concept of “whiteness” in Sweden. How does “whiteness” intersect with other categorisations such as ethnicity, cultural, religious or other markers?


1. The first part of your assignment relates to spatial arrangements. Focus on 1. whether the concept of whiteness is relevant in the definition of public spaces and 2. If it is relevant, how is it made visible and enacted between the people who occupy the place? You are encouraged to conduct observations over the course of a few days, in order to obtain empirical data conducive to analysing social patterns. Keep in mind the literature assigned for this week. Collect visual materials to illustrate your observations.

2. Take a look at “popular culture” (for example in the form of magazine features, newspapers, films or books, advertisements, product placements) where the concept of whiteness is both visible and invisible, implicit and explicit at the same time. Use these for your presentation (see details below). 


What conclusions can you draw from your observations? How can these observations and analyses add to the wider understanding of “whiteness” in a social context? Reflect on the literature. 



1. The results of your enquiry will be presented to the class on February 24. As well as preparing a short presentation, you are tasked with formulating 1 question to be discussed with the group.

2. You will write a paper of ca. 1000 words, summarising your findings and reviewing the literature. Illustrations from the findings with an analysis thereof.  



Slot 4 Between the Emic and the Etic: Interpretation and Presentation of a Questioned Field


March 3, Lecture / seminar: Between the etic and the emic & The craft of ethnographic presentation

The beginning of Making a Pod.

Reading: Jenny Andersson, Nordic Nostalgia and Nordic Lights.


Robben, A. C. G., and J. A. Sluka (2012) Ethnographic Fieldwork: An Anthropological Reader. Oxford: John Wiley & Sons.

Selected chapters: pages 1-47, chapters 4-6; 12, 14,  35. These are all rather short, focused chapters dealing with various ethical questions relating to ethnography.

1 Watch the video uploaded in Studium on how to make a Podcast. 


2 Summarize for yourself experiences of the course so far: your assignments, presentations, the lectures, and most important, the literature.  


3 Start with working on an idea for the theme of your pod about multiculturalism. Try to narrow it down to a main angle or approach that will be the red thread for your presentation. It might be a question, a problem, a metaphor, a symbol/symbolic word, an overarching theme, etc. Preferably something that will contain complexity, contradiction, something enigmatic (as a kind of riddle for you) to explore and dig deeper into. A clear and limited theme will help you hold your pod together and foster your creativity.


4. Prepare a ten minute presentation of your idea. Describe a) the theme, b) in what ways it has emic dimensions (descriptions of and experiences and phenomena relevant to Multiculturalism) and 3) ethical dimensions (your discussion, understanding and analysis, problematizing, etc.). Write notes that you can use when presenting at the workshop, and use as background when revising your idea after the seminar.


The work shop

5 Join the workshop, present your idea and discuss the other’s pod ideas.


After the work shop

6 After the workshop, the day after at the latest, revise your idea and submit it at Studium,, including a preliminary list of the references (literature/articles/etc.) from the course you want to use.


7 Start to work on your synopsis of the pod. It must be in the shape of a selling point or elevator pitch in 200-300 words. Search on the web, YouTube for example, for Elevator Pitch and Selling Point. Write your synopsis as a presentation to a broadcast company where you are trying to make them interested of your pod idea.

Submit a written synopsis of your pod idea at Studium, 200-300 words.


March 10 , Seminar: Between the emic and the etic & Workshop: The craft of ethnographic presentation: Pod Cast


March 17, Individual work (No meeting this week)

March 24. Final seminar/Presentations of Pods.

Nadia Lovell

Course summary:

Date Details Due