Institutional Ethnography


What is institutional Ethnography?

The practice of Institutional Ethnography was established by Canadian sociologist Dr. Dorothy E. Smith.

Institutional ethnographers begin from the standpoint of embodied subjects who either work in “institutional” settings or who are subject to the various processes of institutions.

After identifying a problematic of concern to those inhabiting this standpoint, institutional ethnographers work to map out the social relations, or modes of social action, that organize the experiences of these people extra-locally.

Of particular to institutional ethnographers in this mapping are the transmission of texts (in the broadest sense of the term) across these sites, and the ways by which they are taken-up to organize aspects of our everyday life.

The goal of IE is not to abstract away from the lived experiences of those “on-the-ground,” but rather to remain with them and identify how their everyday/everynight activities are coordinated through ruling relations.


Selected articles on Institutional ethnography

WHAT IS INSTITUTIONAL ETHNOGRAPHY?
CONDUCTING ANALYSIS IN INSTITUTIONAL ETHNOGRAPHY:
GUIDANCE AND CAUTIONS
INSTITUTIONAL ETHNOGRAPHY AS A METHOD OF INQUIRY FOR CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND SOCIO-LEGAL STUDIESTROUBLING RULING DISCOURSES OF HEALTH: USING INSTITUTIONAL ETHNOGRAPHY IN COMMUNITY-BASED RESEARCH
by Marjorie DeVaultby Janet Rankinby Agnieszka Doll and Kevin Walbyby Eric Mykhalovskiy and Liza McCoy
Link to PDF Available on Google ScholarLink to PDF Available on Google ScholarLink to PDF on Google ScholarLink to PDF Available on Google Scholar

Video REsources

An Introduction

This YouTube video is made possible by Dr. Daniel Grace of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, who hosted this open lecture and dialogue with Dr. Dorothy E. Smith.

Runtime: 1 hour and 34 minutes

In this video, Dr. Dorothy E. Smith guides students through an introduction to institutional ethnography (IE). Smith begins by providing a general background to the development of IE as a “sociology for people.” From here, Smith details the underlying concepts, theories, and practices that entail the institutional ethnographic process. The presentation ends with a “question and answer” period between Smith and members of the audience.

Institutional Ethnography & Social Justice

This YouTube video is made possible by Dr. Sophie Hickey, convenor of the Applied Sociology group of The Australian Sociological Association who hosted this open lecture and dialogue with Dr. Naomi Nichols.

Runtime: 1 hour

Applying Institutional Ethnography:
Transforming Healthcare Systems

In this YouTube video, PhD Candidate Emily Rowland talks about institutional ethnography and its usefulness as a tool for improving healthcare systems. This video is made possible through Health Leaders Canada.

Runtime: 4 minutes