Doing Fieldwork in China

Lecturer:Dr. PAN Tianshu

Credits:3 Fudan University credits, 5 ECTS equivalent

This seminar aims to situate students’ field work experiences within a framework of the Chinese and North American contexts to provide students with methodological tools for approaching their field placements; to evaluate their own experiences and observations through critical reflection; and to integrate their understanding of Chinese and North American medical systems through written exercises.

In addition, this course establishes a forum for students to direct their work and creative energies towards social and cultural issues in the medical field. This approach allows the students to discover “communities,” to create a channel of communication, to find ways of continual engagement and project development, and to perhaps carry knowledge and expression beyond the immediate workings of the community and into the realm of culture. Ethnographic narratives will be woven into the in-class discussion of these themes.


Week 2 Getting to know the “field”

Week 3 Why Culture Matters

Week 4  Ethnography and Field Work: the Validity of “Soft Data” 

Week 5 Place Matters 

Week 6 Participant Observation  

Week 7 Field Encounters 

Week 8  Reflections on Medical School Education 

Week 9 The Challenge of a Graying China 

Week 10 Stigma and “Shame of Illness”

Week 11 Fieldwork in a “Risk Society” 

Week 12-13 In-class presentations