English 201/Chrysafi PROJECT #2: ETHNOGRAPHY ?· English 201/Chrysafi PROJECT #2: ETHNOGRAPHY ESSAY…
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PROJECT #2: ETHNOGRAPHY ESSAY A Few Words on Ethnography: Ethnographic writing originated in the field of anthropology as a means of studying and giving detailed accounts of the lives and practices of various cultures. Now students across numerous fields (including English and Sociology to name a couple) engage in this type of inquiry and writing. Researchers who aspire to create ethnographies of a particular culture immerse themselves in the experiences of that culture as a participant observer. They observe, participate, interview, and collect data, in order to arrive at some type of conclusion about their topic. For This Project: You will write an ethnography essay on a particular site, culture, or group of your choice. As we work through this assignment, we will continue to emphasize two important aspects of writing that will serve you in other college courses: inquiry and research. The first step is to select a site, culture, or group that interests you. Keep in mind that your choice must be accessible to you. There are lots of sites and cultures to choose from: college campuses, clubs, fraternities/sororities, gyms, coffee shops, stores, restaurants, churches, etc. Position yourself as an outsider looking in and ask these key questions: What goes on here? What are the people here like? Why do they come here? What statements can you make about the people gathered here? The answer to these questions will form your thesis statement and the structure of your paper. Steps You Will Take:
1. Research (Secondary Sources): Existing data about a culture already published and analyzed by researchers is important for helping you generate ideas and questions to explore further in your research. These can include scholarly publications, statistical data, records, etc.
2. Visitation (Primary Source): Visit your site at least one time for one hour. During this time, you are required to take field notes observations made as you look, interview, and collect data. Also record your feelings about what you see, hear, and experience. Pay attention to details sights, smells, etc. Take careful notice of language and jargon used. You also may want to sketch diagrams or take pictures of the spaces you are talking about. Since most of you have phones, I am requiring that you take at least three pictures and incorporate these into your final project. You will also attach your field notes.
3. Informal/Formal Interviews: Talk to informants! An informant is a person who shares information about the site/culture with a researcher. You must interview at least one informant and record either on tape or by taking careful notes what information is shared with you. It is entirely up to you whether you would like to do informal interviews through casual conversation, or set up more structured formal interviews, or a combination of both. This information will be woven into your ethnography.
Composing the Ethnography Essay: Although there is no one correct way of composing ethnography essays, I highly recommend that you follow the structure used in the sample ethnographies that we read:
1. Introduction: What is your topic/big question? Why did you choose this site, culture, or group? What do you hope to learn? What is the relevance of this inquiry? You may include secondary sources in this section if appropriate.
2. Assumptions & Early Hypotheses: How did you feel about it going in? What assumptions did you make about this site, culture, or group? What does research say about this topic? How does this research inform your assumptions? Include secondary sources in this section.
3. Methodology: What methods did you take in this inquiry? What was your process for gathering information? How did you make observations? Where did you go? What did you notice? Who did you speak with? Did you conduct formal/informal interviews? What did you photograph?
4. Data Analysis: Here is where you analyze and make sense of your observations and all of the information you collected. What is significant about your observations? How did the interviews give you insight into your research? How did the data as a whole contribute to your understanding of this topic? Are they to some extent aligned with the research that you read? Were you surprised by any discoveries?
5. Conclusion: Ultimately, what were your findings? Do any of your questions or thoughts remain unclear? Would
deeper examination on this topic be relevant? If so, why? Basic Requirements:
A cover page that includes a title, your name, my name, the course name, and the date.
Apply MLA format: Times New Roman, font size 12, with one-inch margins on all sides and double-spaced.
Include section titles (introduction, methodology, conclusion, etc.) aligned left, in bolded font.
Include at least three outside sources in your introduction and/or assumptions/early hypotheses sections. Make sure
to include a works cited page at the end.
Include at least three photographs and your field notes in the essay. It is up to you whether you would like to place
the photographs within and throughout the essay (like the samples weve seen) or attach them all at the end. Include
a short caption describing each photograph. Please attach your field notes at the very end as well.
Your essay should consist of approximately 5-6 typed pages. This does not include photographs and field notes.
Important Due Dates (also on syllabus):
Thursday 3/23: Introduction Assumptions/Early Hypotheses
Tuesday 3/28: Methodology Field Notes
Thursday 3/30: Data Analysis
Tuesday 4/4: COMPLETE DRAFT DUE (Revised Introduction, Assumptions/Early Hypotheses, Methodology, Data Analysis, and first draft of Conclusion)
Thursday 4/6: FINAL DRAFT DUE
The final draft must include all of the following components:
Introduction Assumptions/Early Hypotheses Methodology Data Analysis Conclusion Photographs Field Notes