Conducting an ethnographic study is a fun way of gathering research about your social environment. You may have done an ethnography before without really being aware of it. In a small way, this assignment recreates what ethnographers do when they visit a new community to conduct research.
Complete the following:
ObservationChoose a restaurant, library, mall, dining hall, coffee shop, or similar public location. Plan to spend a minimum of two hours at the location. You will visit this location twice, for a minimum of four hours total. Keep in mind that if you should find one of your peers in the establishment at the same time when you are there, do not interrupt him/her and do not do the assignment at the same time.Document what occurs at this chosen location:Describe the establishment.Analyze the interactions between people.
Next, write a paper documenting and analyzing your observations of the location.
Your observation notes should specifically include the following:Name and location of the establishmentDates and times you were therePlace where you stood/sat and when you did your researchDescription of the physical characteristics of the inside and outside of the establishment (e.g. brick or concrete structure, paint color, seating arrangements)Number and types of people visiting the establishment while you were there (age, sex, type of clothing, probable occupations, ethnicity, etc.)Document interactions such as:specific nature of the interactions that take place in the establishment among customers, between customers and staff, and among stafftypes of languages used in the establishment and by whomany strange or unusual behavior
Include the following in your analysis:Comparison of similarities and differences of this establishment and other similar establishments you know aboutNature of the treatment of customers in the establishmentRelationships between customers and workersAny behavior that surprised you or was contrary to your expectationsHow it felt to do the researchMost difficult aspects of the researchWhat you found most interesting about the research
In your analysis, be sure to draw upon your observations to support your conclusions.
In the appendix of your paper, include the following:A sketch of the layout of the establishment (You can draw in a computer program, like Paint that comes preloaded on most PCs and insert it into your Word file.)Transcription of your notes
Write a 4–6-page paper in Word format. Apply APA standards to citation of sources. Use the following file naming convention: LastnameFirstInitial_M3_A2.doc.