Anthropological Perspectives on Applied Research


The course introduces Anthropology as a discipline, and the ways in which it can be of use to researchers and practitioners in Lebanon today.

Course description:

The six-session course will cover the following topics:

– What is anthropology and how can an anthropological perspective influence the way we do research: 

A field still in limited use in Lebanon, the tools and skills of anthropology could enable us to complex questions of today’s societies. 

The course will introduce what key anthropology concepts like ‘cultural relativism’, ‘reflexivity’, and ‘ethnography mean and the ways in which these can be helpful for us as researchers and practitioners. 

– Research design: Beyond data collection methods, the course will allow participants to think of questions relate to research design more broadly, including deciding what topics we research, who implements the research, how is it funded and by whom, which research participants are involved, how do we handle our data and what do we do with our findings. 

– Ethical considerations in research: We will familiarize ourselves with widely used codes of ethics, as well as think together of contentious ethical issues, particularly in relation to doing research in the region today.

– Research in Lebanon: Navigating and overwhelming (and sometimes unreliable) data on Lebanon, the course will introduce some of the main sources of information in and on Lebanon, their reliability and the politics behind some of the data. 

– Students will be invited to design research projects that they are interested to conduct (or to rethink some they have recently conducted) and to think critically with fellow students in ways in which an anthropological perspective could be useful, ethical considerations, sources of data, etc.  

– We will not cover research/data collection methods, but rather think of the macro considerations related to research. 

The course will have several required readings, especially for the second and third weeks, so please plan to ensure you have enough time to do the readings. If interested, we can arrange for silent reading time right before class, in the same venue where classes are held to help us all detach from everyday duties and spend time reading.

Number of sessions:


Dates of sessions:

Every Thursday, for six consecutive weeks starting Thursday November 7 until Thursday December 12.


Arabic & English (Knowledge of both languages is necessary)

Course Pre-requisites:

This course is open to practitioners and students in engaging with the theoretical and ethical aspects of implementing research activities. Participants need to have taken part in or designed research activities, including needs assessments, monitoring and evaluation activities, student research projects, or media investigation, among others.

Instructor name:

Dr. Muzna Al-Masri & Ms. Zeina Abla
Instructor Bio:

Muzna Al-Masri holds a PhD in Anthropology from Goldsmiths, University of London and an MA in conflict transformation and Peacebuilding from the Eastern Mennonite University. She currently is a researcher and a consultant for several UN and international organizations, and her most recent research reports include analysis of the conflict context in various Lebanese regions, examining the linkages between social cohesion and humanitarian intervention. Her research interests include political anthropology, elite politics and formation, everyday political practice, conflict and violence, and anthropology of sports. She has taught at AUB and Goldsmiths, University of London and is cofounder of the Ethnography and Knowledge Production in the Arab Region working group.

Zeina Abla has 20 years of research and consultancy experience in Lebanon and the Arab region. She works on development subjects, focusing on gender, labour issues, conflict sensitivity analysis, the global development agendas and aid effectiveness. Previously, she did economic research in the banking sector. Zeina has a Masters in Development Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London and has taught at LAU.


Contact Email:

[email protected]

How to contact:

please add the name of the course you’re interested to inquire about in the subject line. Note that registration is done via the form 

Participation Fees:

Standard Fee: 150 $

Reduced** Fee: 90 $

Solidarity* Fee: 210 $


*This fee enables to fund the reduced fee difference and allow concerned persons to have access to the course.
** For salaries under 1000$/month and having to pay house rental. If you do not fall under this categorie and still believe you should have the reduced fee, please contact us. The reduced rate is applicable for limited number of participants.