Presentation on theme: "Stepping in and Stepping Out: Understanding Cultures Fieldworking requires curiosity and attention- to-detail – Over the course of your ethnographic project,"— Presentation transcript:
Stepping in and Stepping Out: Understanding Cultures Fieldworking requires curiosity and attention- to-detail – Over the course of your ethnographic project, you will look, listen, collect, question, and interpret Ethnography: the study of people in cultures – Famous fieldworkers: Jane Goodall, Clifford Geertz, Oliver Sacks, Margaret Mead, Jane GoodallClifford GeertzOliver SacksMargaret Mead
Culture? Subculture? Culture “…an invisible web of behaviors, patterns, rules, and rituals of a group of people who have contact with one another and share common languages” (3) Subculture “…any self-identified group of people who share language, stories, rituals, behaviors, and values” (6) What is the difference? And why it significant?
We must be aware of: Colonization: the domination (not necessarily physically) of one culture by the values of another; similar to ethnocentrism Our assumptions, preconceptions, and biases: our untested attitudes/theories about unfamiliar people, places, or ideas (often based upon the experiences from your own life, or from a limited or second-hand idea about people, places, or ideas.)
Perspectives: Outsider and Insider Outsider (etic) – Your initial perspective as a beginning fieldworker – Also, the ability to “step out” of our own groups and identities and to attempt to see things objectively. – In our field notes, what we record. Insider (emic) – The perspective of the members of the cultural group you will be studying – Also, the developing ability to “step in” to unfamiliar groups and to examine them closely, subjectively. – In our field notes, how we respond.
Looking Forward: The Research Portfolio You should have a sturdy notebook, and you should back up you data often, either by photocopying it, scanning it, or typing it into a computer. – If you do type your field notes, make certain that you back up you data with a flash/jump drive, external hard drive, etc.! You might also consider having an actual research portfolio – a place where you can keep fliers, notes, photographs, and other artifacts from your fieldworking
Four Main Activities of Fieldworking (And how having a good research portfolio can help you)
1. Collecting You will collect observations (recorded as your field notes), and interviews – but you may also collect maps (existing or ones that you sketch), transcripts, photographs, poems (your or others), newsletters, newspaper clippings, advertisements, programs, etc.
2. Selecting You can’t select until you collect! But…once you have begun to assemble a thorough collection of field notes and a research portfolio, you will have many different parts from while to construct a whole ethnographic essay
3. Reflecting “the act of considering thoughtfully.” When you reflect upon your project and look through your notes/portfolio, you need time. Make certain you set aside intervals to reflect upon field notes, interviews, etc. and to analyze and synthesize the data
Projecting Oftentimes, projecting is a by-product of reflecting: through reflection you can identify areas where you want to concentrate your focus, questions you want to ask, informants you want to interview, and areas of the study that might need to be further developed. Projecting allows you to analyze your progress, look forward, conceptualize your project (as it shapes up), and to realize what you need to do. In short, projecting is about looking at where you’ve been, analyzing where you are, and identifying where you want to be.