Thursday, 15 May 2014


The Institutional Ethnography Network was officially launched at a successful discussion and lunch event today as part of the 50 Years of Sociology at Edinburgh and in celebration of Dorothy Smith receiving an Honorary Degree from Edinburgh.

After introductions, Órla Murray provided a brief overview of the development of Smith's work, institutional ethnography (IE), and some comments on how researchers have applied IE in their research. This was followed by Jennifer Peet who discussed her PhD research on Aboriginal Australian Child Removals, providing interesting insights on the application of Smith's concepts and how an institutional ethnography can work in practice, before Julie Brownlie offered her reflections on teaching IE as part of The Documents of Life postgraduate course this past year. After some further discussion with researchers and students from sociology, science and technology studies, social policy, and social work, we ended the event with some sandwiches, cakes, and coffee.

From this initial event, there appears to be much interest in institutional ethnography, both at Edinburgh and from other UK universities, and a need to establish regular events and a formalised network of researchers to provide opportunities to discussion Smith's work and share advice on how to apply institutional ethnography. There will be a number of exciting events at the University of Edinburgh from the 30th June - 3rd July 2014, when Dorothy Smith will be receiving an Honorary Degree and participating the 50 Years of Sociology Conference. As part of this, the Institutional Ethnography Network will be hosting a Masterclass with Smith herself for Edinburgh postgraduates and staff using IE in their research (details tbc).

Over the next month or so, we will have another informal meet-up for those who were unable to attend this first meeting to facilitate everyone at Edinburgh getting to know each other. To find out more about this or to be put on the mailing list for future events please email Órla Murray (