Institutional Ethnography: A Feminist Approach to Analysing Institutions Using Texts

Presented by Dr Órla Meadhbh Murray

The University of Exeter Q-Step Centre seminar
Date8 February 2023
Time14:00 to 15:15

Institutional Ethnography is an interdisciplinary feminist approach to research that examines how texts and language organise our everyday lives.

Many Institutional Ethnographers focus on how people navigate institutional texts, processes, and discourses, identifying invisible work and gaps between policy and practice. Institutional Ethnographers often aim to produce ‘maps’ of complex bureaucratic processes, showing how seemingly neutral bureaucratic processes and institutional discourses (re)produce inequalities. This talk will briefly outline what Institutional Ethnography is, drawing on an Institutional Ethnography of UK university audit processes, specifically how academics negotiate the National Student Survey, ESRC research funding application processes, and the Research Excellence Framework.

Dr Murray is currently writing a monograph - Abolish Audit: A Feminist Institutional Ethnography of UK Universities - based on her PhD thesis (forthcoming Bristol University Press 2022).


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