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Ethnography & Spatial Analysis Genre Features and Successful Moves.

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Presentation on theme: "Ethnography & Spatial Analysis Genre Features and Successful Moves."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ethnography & Spatial Analysis Genre Features and Successful Moves

2 Ethnography  “ Ethnography (from Greek ἔ θνος ethnos = folk/people and γράφω, grapho = to write) is a qualitative research design aimed at exploring cultural phenomena. The resulting field study or a case report reflects the knowledge and the system of meanings in the lives of a cultural group. An ethnography is a means to represent graphically and in writing, the nature of a people.” –from good ol’ Wikipedia

3 Method  First and foremost, you have to experience, hangout, be amongst the people you are studying. There is no substitute for this.  Listen closely, have conversations, take notes, and keep key questions in mind  What unites these people as a group or community?  What are their customs and ways of being?  How does context (historical, social, cultural, and spatial) affect their group?  What can I learn from them?

4 Your Role  You are an ACTIVE participant (not true in some genres of ethnography.  You should not attempt to change the group. If you have judgments, keep them to yourselves. Do not try to change anyone’s mind or behavior.  You are there to learn, participate, and see things as they are.

5 The visit(s)  Secure permission to be there (if necessary)  Let the people know what you’re doing  Go in an analytical mindset (you’re not just hanging out)  Take notes  Be respectful (duh)

6 The purposes(s)  Reveal something about the group/culture/space  Reveal something about yourself  This means that before you go, you should take some time honestly reflecting upon your preconceived notions, expectations, and stereotypes  The final report should reflect an intersection of these two purposes

7 Language  What kinds of language is used (formal, informal, technical, inside references, etc.)  Who talks? Who talks to who? Are there rules (set or informal) about who can talk to who, when, and how?  If people don’t talk there- why? What is the nature/purpose/effect of the silence?  As an “outsider” how did this effect how you talked or were responded to?

8 Activity  Why and how do people participate in activities in this place?  Is there a hierarchy or chain-of-command in activity? Can everyone participate (and in the same way)?  Is the activity symbolic of other things (are there symbolic objects involved)  To what extent did you participate in the common activity(s)?

9 Historical Contexts  Is there a larger historical context to the place? How does that history affect what goes on there?  Are the people there connected by history in some way? How does this play out in their language and interactions?  Is there history you need to know to fully appreciate or participate in the place? How did it feel not to have it.

10 Spatial analysis  Successful spatial analysis begins with this benefit-of- the-doubt (and often skeptical) assumption.  Space, like good writing, is not designed by accident. The designers usually want to encourage (or discourage) certain types of activities and behaviors  Ask yourself: In what ways is this space encouraging me to act, behave, and be?

11 Factors  Walls, partitions, & paths (access)  Bookstore  Color choices, lighting, aesthetics  bar  Placement of and inclusion of objects  bathroom/restaurant  Creation of focal points  Classroom/supermarket



14 Factors  Scale  How does the size of your body in relation to the room feel?  Elevators  Ambience/sound  Affects of noise or silence  Climate  Theaters  Materials

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