Advancing Cultural Change: An Interdisciplinary Ethnography Project
Student Voices. Their Perspective on Cultural Change at Cal Poly.
Advancing Cultural Change at Cal Poly: An Interdisciplinary Ethnography employs Cal Poly’s Learn-by-Doing philosophy by engaging undergraduates in ethnographic research that explores Cal Poly culture and the lived experiences of its community members. Students from over forty majors investigate disciplinary cultures on campus in Dr. Coleen Carrigan’s "Introduction to Cultural Anthropology" courses, developing research questions, and gathering data through participant observations, semi-structured interviews, visual ethnography and autoethnography.
They analyze the data using qualitative coding techniques and participate in consensus-building exercises to collectively strategize on how to catalyze cultural change at Cal Poly. Guided by students’ data, Dr. Carrigan further investigates cultural phenomenon that may contribute to exclusionary behaviors and disciplinary segregation and strategizes with key stakeholders on effective solutions.
By creating case studies out of ethnographic data to engage students, deans, department chairs and faculty on campus, Carrigan and the ACC team have reached approximately 515 people.
The project, funded by the Cal Poly Provost’s Office and Chancellor’s Office, Research, Scholarship and Creative Activities Grant, aligns with ongoing campus efforts to foster inclusivity and catalyze transformational change at Cal Poly.
Read more about ACC:
- Mustang News Article, March 2017: "Professor works to advance cultural change at Cal Poly"
- ASEE Conference Paper, June 2017: "Engaging Engineers in Inclusive Cultural Change Through a New Method, Articulating a Succinct Description" [Educational Research Methods Division's Best Diversity Paper Award]