The student will construct a 3-4 page essay detailing their Ethnographic experience (topic previously approved in unit 2) involving participant-observation of a cultural event conducted during the current semester. There are two main portions of the essay, the description of the experiences (extracted from field notes) and the analysis of the data. Each part is 50% of your grade.
Description: From the students field notes, a detailed description of everything you saw during your ethnographic field research will be recounted. The point of this aspect of the essay is to allow the reader who may not be familiar with the group/event/activity to experience it through your description. This should include things like:
Colors (are there prevalent colors in the dcor or the attire of the people?)
Smells (aromas from food, incense, sweaty little soccer players)
structural descriptions(what did the church look like/how were you able to identify that it was a church? What did the inside of the arena/bar look like/how did it differ from other buildings?)
descriptions of the participants (ages, gender, SES, religion, status, hierarchy, etc.)
verbal communication (specific words used like quinceanera, bro, clear it down field, peace be with you, may I take your order, Hi honey or other verbal communications that may be specific to this cultural group/event/activity
non-verbal communication (ways of greeting one another-hugs/handshakes/head nods, eye contact-direct or deferred to show respect, body language-slouching because it is an informal event or arms crossed because the member feels annoyed/threatened, gesticulating-talking with many hand gestures to emphasize points)
attire (dont say formal dress, describe it because one persons idea of formal may be different than another persons. Formal ball gown with tiara and tuxedo or short black dress and suit jacket)
Please note that the description is one half of this assignment. The analysis is worth 50% of the grade. Make sure to write a in-depth analysis of your description section and the data collected for this assignment.
Analysis: After the description, the student will extract the foundation for this cultural event. This is the portion in which all of the sights, sounds, smells, etc. can be evaluated for their impact on the group. Remember culture is shared, learned, and symbolic. Identify what stood out to you and you will be able to illustrate significant aspects for this event or activity. This should include things like:
What is most important to these followers? (community-building, sharing and teaching values to the young, learning to compete in socially appropriate ways)
Do the rituals/activities/actions indicate any culturally significant mores/values? (going to church shows that a person is trying to follow religious doctrines, dining out is an indicator that the group has disposable income)
Why is this cultural event taking place? (communing on Sunday re-enacts the Last Supper, the dance competition allows for showcasing of talent along with critical evaluation of skills)
What are the symbolic aspects of the event or activity? (Crosses, soccer balls, alcoholic drinks, birthday cake/pin-the-tail on the donkey)
How do these symbols reflect the traditions, values, beliefs, etc. of the group? (sign of the cross also indicates a hierarchy of men, white is a symbol of purity which is important for the bride to be a virgin/double-standard for men.
Remember that this is an ethnography so you must not JUDGE; you are to be a participant-observer using a cultural relativistic approach. You are to record and interpret the culture not to critique their religious beliefs. As an anthropologist you must try to refrain from adding your own opinions in the research.
The type of cultural event may seem insignificant such as dining at a local restaurant but by observing from a culturally-relative perspective, the ethnographer may be able to grasp a greater understanding of what is valued by that culture. Therefore it is imperative to include even small details in field notes. The ethnographer initially does not know the significance of actions and behaviors. The value of the field notes becomes apparent when they are deciphered and studied after the cultural event.
The paper must be written in a scholarly manner with an expectation of 3-4 typed pages; double spaced 10 or 12 font and please be sure TO PROOFREAD FOR GRAMMAR AND CONTENT ALONG WITH USING SPELL CHECK! Points will be deducted from the assignment grade for gross proofreading errors (varies according to level of errors).
COL assignment Rubric 83 Points
COL assignment Rubric 83 Points
Criteria Ratings Pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeQuality of Assignment Content 70%
Submission demonstrates a full understanding of the associated learning objectives presented in the assignment
Submission demonstrates a general understanding of the asso ciated learning objectives presented in the assignment
Submission demonstrates some understanding of the associated learning objectives presented in the assignment
Submission demonstrates a minimal understanding of the associated learning objectives presented in the assignment
Submission does not display an understanding of the associated learning objectives presented in the assignment
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeMechanics and Readability of Assignment 15%
Writing demonstrates mastery of all criteria for high academic literacy standards Assignment is clearly un derstandable to the reader Free of punctuation, spelling, and capitalization errors
Writing demonstrates mastery of most criteria for high academic literacy standards Assignment is mostly clear and understandable to the reader Contains only occasional punctuation, spelling, and /or capitalization errors
Writing is unclear and/or disorganized in some areas of lite racy standards . Assignment is partially clear and understandable to the reader Contains several punctuation , spelling, and/or capitalization errors , but does not inhibit readability.
Writing is unclear and/or disorganized in most literacy sta ndards Assignment is unclear and not understandable to the reader Contains many and serious intrusive errors of punctuation, spelling, and/or capitalization which partially inhibit readability
Writing is unclear and/or disorganized in all literacy standards Assignment is not understandable to the reader Frequent errors in spelling and capitalization: profound and/or inaccurate punctuation which render the submission unreadable
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeStructure and Organization/ Format / Presentation of Assignment 15%
Submission follows direction and includes all components indicated in the instructions. If requested, references are included and properly cited. A ppropriate format and presentation for assignment
Submission follows directions and includes most components indicated in the instructions. If requested, references are included and mostly cited properly . Few formatting errors
Submission does not follow all directions and is missing some components indicated in the instructions. If requested, some references are included and partially cited pro perly. Several errors in formatting, or format is inconsistent
Submission follow s minimal directions and is missing many components indicated in the instructions. If requested, references are not included and /or properly cited. E rrors in format several interfere with meaning, formatting weak
Submission is not appropriate for assignment Does not follow directions as indicated by instructor References and c itations are not included if requested Thoughts are not expressed in a logical manner.
Total Points: 83.0