During the semester you will be responsible for writing a short report on a cultural topic called ethnography. An ethnography is a cultural report that is based on the scientific method. Your ethnography will be based on you using one primary research method (interview, observation, or participant observation) that you chose to answer one research question about a cultural phenomenon or cultural meaning of something.
Ethnographies are organized like a scientific research paper with a research question and, for this assignment, an optional hypothesis.
Your ethnographys research data will be gathered using primary research. Primary research involves going out into the natural world (or online world) and gathering data yourself in order to answer a research question. Secondary research, on the other hand,involves reading about other people’s research.Your first mini-ethnography assignment, “ME Draft #1,” is to answer the following in one short paragraph:
Your cultural topic: What cultural norm, practice, perspective, or form of material culture that you want to learn and write about?
Your research question (RQ): What is one thing that you want to know that you can do primary research yourself to find an answer. Remember primary research” includes interviewing a person (online or in-person), observing a ritual or practice (online or in-person), or participating in a cultural practice or event yourself and then writing about what you observed and felt about the experience.
Your hypothesis (H1): This is optional. What do predict to be the answer to your research question (RQ) before you do any primary research? In other words, what is the provisional answer that you are trying to prove correct (or disprove) with your primary research?
Why you chose this topic? What is your connection to this cultural phenomenon, language or dialect, cultural community, sport, or group?
Topic: What is the cultural phenomenon, culture change, reason for immigration, family story or folklore, or other cultural experience that you are researching? Are you researching a type of material culture, or symbolic culture, like norms, symbolic meanings, values, language, music, or folklore? What are your biases about this topic (e.g. what do you think about this topic and what is your relationship to your informants or this culture)? What do you already know about this topic?
Research Question (RQ): What is one thing that you want to find out? Be very specific (one thing or one place or one event/time).
Hypothesis (H1) What is the answer that you predict for your Research Question (RQ)?
Why you chose this topic…
Methodology (1 paragraph)Ethnographic research methods: Interview, observation, or participant observation. What is your relationship to your informant (interview subject) or cultural event? Why do you think this person (or event) may not be a representative sample of an entire population or cultural phenomenon? What other data would you need to make it representative of all types of this cultural experience? If you interviewed a person, you must have their permission and a copy of the Informed Consent Form completed/signed by the final draft due date.
Literature Review or Background (1 paragraph)Some background information from your secondary research and any definitions of anthropological or cultural terms that a person outside the culture or language may not know. The research terms are defined using definitions from published sources with in-text citations that link to a list of your published sources that are listed in alphabetical order after the end of your report. You can cite your textbook. Do not use footnotes. A typical in-line citation: (Guest 2018, 18).
Data (1-4 paragraphs)Your interview or observation data that you gathered using ethnographic research methods. Include in your explanatory analysis of the data
Your interviewees responses, quoted or paraphrased, that answered your research question. What did you find out?
Your personal opinion about the data (or lack of data) you found.
Theoretical perspective you are using to analyze the data: Cultural Relativism, Functionalism, Cultural Materialism, Post-Modernism, Marxism, Cultural Ecology, Sociobiology, Interpretism, etc.
Conclusion (1 paragraph)Did your data prove or disprove your hypothesis? Why? Knowing what you know now, how did your opinion or knowledge about the topic change?
Resources (or Works Cited) (Min. 3 published sources in alphabetical order by authors last names)At least three (3) published sources from major news or science publishers must be included in this list (and cited in the text of the report) and in Chicago Manual of Style (Author-Date) format: http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide/citation-guide-2.html (Links to an external site.)Your introduction paragraph with your topic, research question, why you chose this topic and an optional hypothesis. The draft version of this paragraph is what you turned in for “ME Draft #1”.
Your research methodology paragraph where you describe your one ethnography research method. For example, if your method was an interview, you tell me who you interviewed, when it happened, how it happened (in person or online), and why you chose this person. Finally, describe why this person may not be a representative sample of all people in this group. If your interviewed person wished to remain anonymous, then use a pseudonym and/or a made-up relationship for that person.
–> Remember to upload a photo or scan of your completed and signed informed consent form. Any time you collect personally identifiable information from a person you are researching, you must get their permission to research them and what kinds of information you can collect and share.
–> Link to Informed Consent Form PDF: InformedConsentAnth103KirwinCOC2021.pdf download
–> The draft version of this paragraph is what you turned in for “ME Draft #2” (with edits or changes if you made them).