FINAL DRAFT OF PAPER three

FINAL DRAFT OF PAPER three - Teamwork, Goals, and Culture:...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–4. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Teamwork, Goals, and Culture: Ethnographic Research on the UCLA Indian Raas Dance Team By Payal Bhakta, Ariana Moeser, and Ryan Sanford 7
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
INTRODUCTION The lights were blazing down onto the dancers. Their palms are sweaty from clenching their dandiyas in hopes they do not drop during the performance. Each face, eager to perform, glances around the stage and can only notice blackness but can feel a sea of eyes from the audience staring at them. The music booms from the speakers, echoes throughout the entire auditorium and the dancers release their hard work and preparation allowing the rhythm of the music to take control of their body. The feeling of accomplishment after endless practices is the reason why so many people across the world participate in different types of cultural dances. The Raas team at UCLA is just one of the few Indian dance teams where students can express themselves through dancing yet still maintaining their cultural ties. This co-ed team, consisting of 16 dancers, strives to learn Raas, a type of traditional Indian dancing. We observed this team’s discourse and interaction with one another and learned about how being apart of the discourse community shapes the team members’ lives by influencing their beliefs and habit of mind . By observing the UCLA Raas team, our purpose as ethnographers is to examine their discourse in their daily life. Ethnographers immerse themselves in other cultures in order to learn about another discourse community’s ideals and beliefs . Klooster and Bloem, scholars with published articles on the subject of discourse communities , describe a discourse community as a group of people with a common goal and a unique “language allowing the members of a group to conduct their business” (51). Members use different discourse techniques, such as jargon and style , to facilitate their communication within the group. With a unique style of communication in place, the group operates in a way that is unintelligible to outsiders unaccustomed to their discourse style. Studying and entering into another discourse community can be both challenging and 8
Background image of page 2
perplexing. Alma Gottlieb and Phillip Graham, an anthropologist and a writer, did ethnographic research and wrote a memoir entitled Parallel Worlds recounting their experiences in a previously unstudied African village. While visiting the village, even basic customs were puzzling to the outsiders as Gottlieb notes while watching a funeral procession: Everyone taking part in this funeral seemed to know exactly what to do. But when had they memorized the script, and with no apparent director, how did they know which part to play? And what was my own role? (71). By participating in the discourse group , they struggle to learn of their customs and the significance behind them. In this instance, rituals that appear strange to outsiders are automatic to the members of the discourse community because of the normalcy of the act in their culture. Ethnographers study different groups of people living their everyday lives. In the book
Background image of page 3

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 4
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 05/18/2008 for the course ENG 3 taught by Professor Steinberg during the Fall '07 term at UCLA.

Page1 / 16

FINAL DRAFT OF PAPER three - Teamwork, Goals, and Culture:...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 4. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online