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Anth 481 - Observation Exercise

Anth 481 - Observation Exercise - Anthropology 481(Monday...

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Anthropology 481 (Monday - Wednesday Class) Exercise: Ethnographic Observation Exercise Due in class February 3, 2010 Introduction This assignment is designed to give you the opportunity to make observations of a ‘cultural scene’ as an anthropologist would and to try out a key method of anthropological research for yourself. You will be required to write a short description of your chosen scene and then to make a comment on those observations. This assignment is worth a total of 20 points over 3 lessons. Recommended Process: Summary 1. Choose an ethnographic scene , one which has some human activity (see below). This process will be discussed in class. Keep in mind that you will have to repeat the observations of this scene for your essay later in the term. 2. Observe your scene for 15 minutes and no more. 3. Make short notes as you observe your scene, or, if making notes is impossible during your observation, make short, point form notes immediately after your observation is over. 4. Fill out your notes once as soon as possible after your observation is done. 5. Complete a short write-up of 3 pages. Your write-up will describe the scene and make a comment about it. Recommended Process: Detailed Instructions 1. Choosing an Ethnographic Scene Choose a scene that is contained in a small area and has a definite focus of human activity. These scenes need not be fancy or complicated … you will get enough information for the write-up while watching just about any activity. Also choose a scene that you can return to again. Another assignment later in the term MAY involve revisiting the scene, observing it again for 15 more minutes, and making comparisons with your original observation. This requirement should encourage you to observe a public place or activity. I STRONGLY suggest you choose a scene that you are not directly involved in, OR, do not know much about. Choosing an unfamiliar scene will make this assignment easier for you, and not being involved will leave you time and peace to take notes.
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