Ethnographic Observation

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Ethnographic Observation TSL 4520 Grading Rubric Background (Milde, R., 2001) Common wisdom tells us that there are, in general, two kinds of writing: creative and expository. Creative writing tells about feelings, opinions, points of view, things that originate inside the writer. Expository essays tell about facts, things outside of the writer. Essays on literature examine a literary text, a thing outside the writer. Lab reports describe experiments with chemicals and other stuff that really exists and can be measured. Research is factual; fiction, poetry, and the personal story are emotional. Wrong. Writing is not that simple. The farther you go in your academic or professional career, the less you are able to simply report what…show more content…
What are its rituals, credos, myths, symbols, taboos, deities/higher powers? What are its origins? How does it tie into/affect/is affected by the politics, law, economy, ethics, history, and gender of the encompassing society? Be aware of ethnocentrism; describe and understand but do not judge. Study what people believe, not whether or not what they believe is true. Guiding question Guiding questions are aimed at the basic point of ethnography: gaining the world view of a group of people. A common format for a guiding questions might be: How do members of a particular group perceive of or understand a certain social or cultural phenomenon? (This is often seen through behavior of some kind.) Thesis statement Your thesis statement should contain a mini-outline of the paper; this outline consists of several sub-claims for which evidence must be provided. How do you know what you claimed to know. Observing and taking notes: It’s best to take notes during the observation. If that is impractical, take notes immediately afterward. Summarizing your memories of an event is not what ethnographic observation calls for (though it’s okay in journalism or memoir). You want to get down detailed, specific, observations, on details such as: * examples of speech (see the warning below about privacy) * clothing * ways of greeting, initiating conversation, beginning and ending an event * body language, gestures * the physical
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