Portfolio requirements

Ethnography Assignment and Scalar Portfolio:

“A research method located in the practice of both sociologists and anthropologists, and which should be regarded as the product of a cocktail of methodologies that share the assumption that personal engagement with the subject is the key to understanding a particular culture or social setting. Participant observation is the most common component of this cocktail, but interviews, conversational and discourse analysis, documentary analysis, film and photography, life histories all have their place in the ethnographer’s repertoire. Description resides at the core of ethnography, and however that description is constructed it is the intense meaning of social life from the everyday perspective of groups members that is sought.”
“Ethnography” by Dick Hobbs in The SAGE Dictionary of Social Research Methods (2006), Victor Jupp (ed.).

“From one point of view, that of the textbook, doing ethnography is establishing rapport, selecting informants, transcribing texts, taking genealogies, mapping fields, keeping a diary, and so on. But it is not these things, techniques and received procedures that define the enterprise. What defines it is what kind of intellectual effort it is: an elaborate venture in, to borrow a notion from Gilbert Ryle, “thick description.”

What the ethnographer is in fact faced with—except when (as, of course, he must do) he is pursuing the more automatized routines of data collection—is a multiplicity of complex conceptual structures, many of them superimposed upon or knotted into one another, which are at once strange, irregular, and inexplicit, and which he must contrive somehow first to grasp and then to render. And this is true at the most down-to-earth, jungle field work levels of his activity; interviewing informants, observing rituals, eliciting kin terms, tracing property lines, censusing households … writing his journal. Doing ethnography is like trying to read (in the sense of “construct a reading of”) a manuscript—foreign, faded, full of ellipses, incoherencies, suspicious emendations, and tendentious commentaries, but written not in conventionalized graphs of sound but in transient examples of shaped behavior.”
The Interpretation of Cultures by Clifford Geertz (1973).

To be included on your WordPress Website:

– Letter of Introduction
– Box 11 (Exploring your own position/privilege)
– Field Notes/Observation (due March 5)
– Second Field Notes/Observation (due March 26)
– Interview (due April 25)
– Research Proposal which includes Annotated Bibliography (due May 9)
– Links to Research Referred to in your Annotated Bib.
– Four Photos with Annotations (due May 18)
– Any Free writes or rough drafts (not required)
– Final Self-Assessment (due May 18)