Week6-Ethnography+Field+Research+_updated_

Week6-Ethnography+Field+Research+_updated_ - Week 6 Field...

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Week 6 Field Research 1
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Field research Qualitative research Generate data on the pattern of a certain behaviors and events Natural observation, Participant observation, In-depth interview… Community, ethnic groups, deviance, occupations and professions, aspects of everyday life, elites…. More on the poor, the powerless, and the marginal members of society… 2
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Potentials and Limitations Field researchers “by structuring one’s observation (choosing what to observe and describe on the basis of preconceived notion of scientific interest), social scientists create an artificial, distorted understanding of the social world.” (p.308) Why field research? (p.309) - To get an insider’s view of reality - Dynamic situations: essential to preserve “whole” events in all detail and immediacy. - Complex situation, interrelated phenomena - Unable (young children) or unwilling (deviants) subjects -Reduce the problem of reactivity in experiments and surveys. - Knowing little about the subjects 3
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4   Not efficient for the questions about - The distribution of a certain demographic characteristics, belief and attitudes> survey! - Testing hypotheses and causal mechanisms > experiment! Limits - Highly dependent on the observational and interpretive skills of the researcher - Difficult to replicate and compare - Hard to generalize
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Louis Zurcher’s “Work crew” (1968) “How do people cope with the aftermath of a natural disaster?” : A description of a work crew in the aftermath of a tornado - Discuss the social psychological functions of transitory roles - Emphasize the development of a division of labor among the participan and the emergence of group solidarity. > an emergent group that develops around an “immediate” need in the pos disaster environment is task-related focusing on the division of labor necessary to accomplish those tasks. > Process of differentiation: the work groups dissolved prior to institutionalization. 5
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Hustling and Other Hard Work: Lifestyles in the Ghetto by Bettylou Valentine’s (1978) - Bettylou Valentine: a Black anthropologist - In 1968, moved to and began a 5 yr ethnographic study of a Northern urban Black ghetto community (renamed “Blackston” in the book) Purpose: refute the attribution of Black poverty to Black deficiencies - Illogical, empirically undergrounded, serving ideological “blame the victims.”) - View that Black poverty is the consequence of economic/political institutions. Focusing on the 3 extended families - Strong entrepreneurial spirit - Earning a living is a constant preoccupation of residents - But low wages paid to low-skilled workers in a racially segregated labor market - Failures of school system in urban ghetto area Participate actively in kinship and friendship based networks of mutual assistance, church affairs and community organizations - These networks compensating the limited material resource and inadequacy of institutional services. Limit: How representative with small number of individuals and 5 year residency
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This note was uploaded on 11/20/2011 for the course SOCIOLOGY 920:311 taught by Professor Phillips during the Fall '10 term at Rutgers.

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Week6-Ethnography+Field+Research+_updated_ - Week 6 Field...

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