Ethnographic Methods

For this assignment, you’ll need to have read chapters 2 and 3 of your textbook. Pay special attention in chapter 2 to the section,”Ethnographic Methods,” starting on p.47. You’ll be conducting your own participant observation research for this assignment, and analyzing an aspect of everyday life. In chapter 3, see the Data Workshop: Analyzing Everyday Life:Seeing Culture in Religious Services, p.79. If you have an objection to attending church services, then you may choose an alternate location where people follow ritualistic behavior,such as involving sports (baseball, football, bowling, for example). Almost any location will serve for our purposes. You may even wish to hang out at a coffee shop or fast-food restaurant and observe people’s behavior. You’ll need to chose a group that you belong to, or can look like you fit in, so that your presence will not attract undo attention, nor cause people to change their behavior. You will most likely not want to take notes during whatever service or group meeting you attend, since it may make people nervous. You’ll need to practice observation, and write your “field notes” as soon as you are able. Follow the bulleted questions on page 79, adapted as needed if you’ve chosen an alternate location to do your field work, and produce a 3-4 page paper, double-spaced.

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