soc 108c field notes

soc 108c field notes - Field notes August 27, 2010 Field...

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Field notes August 27, 2010 Field notes on how shoppers interact with street performers on 3 rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica. (Group question: How do shoppers interact with street performers outside of shopping centers?) On Friday I went to Santa Monica to observe street performers and their interaction with shoppers. Arriving there at 10:00 am, there were few performers. When I first walked on 3 rd Street Promenade, I encountered two men who were jumping off signs. The signs were about 4 feet tall made out of wood in a triangular shape. One was Hispanic and the other was black. They looked around their early twenties and were dressed in athletic clothing such as Nike. They were jumping from one sign to another, doing back flips and hand stands. Shoppers who were exiting the stores stopped in gaze because these performers stood out by jumping back and forth on top of the signs. They gathered around the performers and began to watch. Majority were young adults to older adults, looking around their mid thirties. There were more men than women. There were more blacks and Hispanics than whites and Asians. Watching two sets of performances for these performers, the results were the same: young to older adults and more blacks and Hispanics in the audience. The performance was more for entertainment and to lure people into their class. They were announcing that they would teach people their talents and tricks if they signed up with them. The audience was not involved in the performance but they wanted to talk to the performers after their shows. Each performance was about 15-20 minutes long. There were conversations among a group of young black friends who said “Lets join the class. It’s only $10 an hour.” A rich looking white lady with a Juicy Couture bag told her husband, “they’re wasting their time. Who wants to learn how to jump from signs to signs.” Walking along the street I saw an old black man wearing torn clothing, playing the guitar and singing. He had a hat laid out asking for donations but nobody stopped by. Every shopper walked passed him, not even looking towards his direction. I waited for 15 minutes but there was no interaction between the shoppers and the performer. It took about another 15 minutes until a young teenage white boy dropped some change. After two more songs, I left to watch another performer as there was not much progress with him interacting with shoppers. Near the AMC theatres, there was a young man around his mid twenties playing the piano and singing love songs. He was a white male who was dressed casually. When he sang “I Swear” by All 4 One, many couples gave him money. Four white couples and two black couples dropped one dollar bills in his box. When he sang “All my Life” by K-Ci & Jojo, more couples gave him money. Six white couples, seven black couples, and a white male with an Asian girl. None of the shoppers who gave money stopped to listen to the entire song. Other shoppers just walked passed him and was more interested in looking at the stores. I noticed that he sang old love
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soc 108c field notes - Field notes August 27, 2010 Field...

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