Doing Ethnography – “Through the Looking Glass”

1. Weekly Activity- Doing Ethnography – “Through the Looking Glass”

(Robbins defines the ethnographic method as “The immersion of researchers in the lives and cultures of the people they are trying to understand in order to comprehend the meanings these people ascribe to their existence”. An ethnography is the report of your experiences that might include, a journal, surveys, questionnaires, photos, film, interviews, and any other information you have gathered.)

Here‘s what I’d like you to do.

I’d like you to choose a nearby location in which you will observe and interpret the symbols and symbolic interaction you see there.. It could be a church, a fast food restaurant, a coffeehouse, a nightclub (if you are old enough), a bank…anything you think will tell you something culturally significant. Examine this setting as a “CULTURAL TEXT”. (See p.20). That is, think of the setting as a text made of significant symbols that tell you something about the meaning Americans assign to certain areas of their life. This can include the interaction between the people you are observing.

From observing the symbols or interaction among the populace, what might you conclude about the following:

GENDER Roles/Stereotypes FAMILY/Kinship

I want you to go at least once to make some observations and write some field notes on the topics listed above. Important: Be certain to specify the key symbols that carry the meanings that Americans assign to these certain areas. Remember…this is an electronic document. You can include pictures if you have that capability.

This paper is worth 40 points. This paper must be at least 750 words long, 12-point font (preferably Times New Roman or Arial) and double-spaced. It must also have your name on it. (This is worth points)





Cultural Anthro Richard Robbins Cengage Publishing ISBN: 9781111300890


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