Mini Ethnography


Directions for 4-6 page Assignment:

1. Choose a time and location for where/when you are going to conduct your observations of an ethnographic scene (mall, public transportation, coffee shop, etc.). Go to the specified location and proceed with your observations. Find a place to sit quietly for 25 minutes and simply watch what is going on. Do not talk to or interview people during this time.

2.Take notes (handwritten recommended). Include details about the scene itself (time of day, lighting, furniture, plants, sounds, temperature, smell, vibe/energy, etc), with focus on the details about the people around you (their characteristics, their behavior). At this time, you should start to think about concepts that you’ve learned in class that fit with your observations. This step is critical.

3. Write a 4-6 page paper about your observations (your notes do not count toward this page estimate). Your paper should:

– Include a ‘thick description’ of the location with clear detail of your observations

-Analyze your observations, identifying and defining four anthropological concepts that fit your observations. Definitions should be supported with cited sources.

-Analyze how these anthropological concepts fit your observations.

-Reflect on this activity. What was it like to observe other people through the lens of an anthropologist?

-Include your field notes at the end of your paper

-Conclude with a discussion of and reflection on your experience of the situation. For example you might write how you felt when you started to detect a pattern in characteristics and/or behavior.