Presentation on theme: "Anthropology: The Cultural Experience Badrul Islam Joel Serrata Dr. Lambros Comitas/Dr. Louis Cristillo Columbia University: Teachers College."— Presentation transcript:
Anthropology: The Cultural Experience Badrul Islam Joel Serrata Dr. Lambros Comitas/Dr. Louis Cristillo Columbia University: Teachers College
What is Anthropology? Anthropology is the science of human beings. More specifically, anthropology is trying to understand all aspects of human beings and all possible questions about them through the broad discovery, study, interpretation, and inference of past and present cultural characteristics.
Ethnography Ethnography is the formal research approach used to acquire the cultural knowledge of a social group. Ethnographic research involves informants, or subjects who inform us about their cultural knowledge. The challenge for ethnographers is to help their informants remember and express their cultural knowledge.
Muslim Youth in NYC Public Schools Study Columbia University is conducting an anthropological research study about the opinions and experiences of Muslim students in NYC high schools. The research is intended to help teachers and school administrators improve the learning environment for Muslim students.
Muslim Youth in NYC Public Schools Study (Cont’d) This study is not limited to Muslim students; students from all religions can participate. In a broad sense, this study wants to learn how students’ experiences in high school impact their attitudes and opinions about civic life and cultural identity in America. This study primarily consists of a telephone survey, a focus group, and face-to-face interviews with high school students. The telephone survey, focus group, and face- to-face interviews ask about life in school, coping with problems and attitudes about identity, society, and education in America.
Materials Human Research Participant license Consent form Recording equipment Questionnaire Notebook/writing utensil
Methodology 1.The informant is selected to be interviewed and informed about the Muslim Youth study. 2.The informant is assured that the interview will remain confidential at all costs and that he/she has the right to withdraw from the interview at any time. 3.The informant will be asked to briefly introduce him/herself and say what high school they attend and their grade (2006- 2007 school year). 4.Questions regarding identity, religiosity, life inside school, life outside of school, self esteem, locus control, discrimination, coping and resiliency, and personal background/demographics will be asked in an informal interview manner. 5.After the 90-minute interview, the notes from the interview will be typed up as an essay document. 6.Follow up questions for the informant will be asked over the phone or via email. 7.Consent forms from the informant will be collected.
Interview Questions Some of the probing questions for the interviews are: Generally speaking, would you say that your school is a cool place; like is it safe, well managed place-a place where students get along pretty well with each other and with teachers? Are the teachers doing a good job? Do you trust your teachers? What about things like drugs, violence, and gangs? Do you think student activities at your school are worth it or just a waste of time? Do you ever do volunteer work that is not related to school? How important is it for you to keep informed about news and current events; where do you get your news? What are the biggest problems facing America today (ex. Poverty, homelessness, crime, racism, War in Iraq). Most of your friends Muslims? Non-Muslims? Mix? How important is religion in your daily life? Ever experience discrimination in public? Is turning to religion helpful? Have you ever questioned your religious beliefs?
Our Progress… We have interviewed 8 people altogether (4 each). The interviewing process takes quite a while because one must know their informant, be in their environment, observe their interactions and behaviors. The actual interview with the probing questions start a few days after getting to know the informant.
Future Work We plan to complete at least 12 thorough interviews by the end of the internship in September. We will continue our work with our actual mentor Dr. Lambros Comitas and learn more about the field of cultural anthropology.