Ethnography Essays

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Ethnography

Introduction

Beginning with the early stages of savagery to the complex civilizations in the 21st century, the need to compete remains an important aspect in the continual evolution of mankind. Competition took various forms throughout history from the bloody attempts to kill a mammoth in order to provide nourishment, to the violent battles between two opposing sides taking place on college football fields every Saturday afternoon. Another form of competition involving severe contact on a scale par with football is the sport of rugby. My personal history with the sport began in a medium sized island in Polynesia. I lived and worked in New Zealand during the summer of 1999, between my sophomore and junior year. This little
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From my research I discovered three conflicting themes, and my theory behind these themes is based upon structural analysis. This ethnography will also reveal some of the methodological questions discussed in class, specifically, replicability, critical dialogue, reflexivity, and globalization. Interestingly, I found a way to connect three out of the four methodological issues to the conflicting themes gathered in my research. For example, critical dialogue links to the contradiction between playfulness and competiveness, reflexivity to upper and lower classes, and globalization to Englishness and Americaness. My point of departure, however, will begin with a basic introduction to the history and rules of rugby. This will enable my non-rugby playing readers (i.e. Joel, William, Bashira, etc.) to gain general background knowledge on the sport before they become acquainted with the Occidental rugby culture.

Rugby’s Tale

Legend has it that a young English boy picked up a soccer ball during a match at Rugby School. Picking up the ball is a clear violation in soccer unless the player is the goalie; but the illegality proved popular and led to the sport of rugby. In 1846, the school later published the rules of rugby. England, Scotland, and Whales picked the game up quickly and developed leagues for the new sport. The spread of rugby to outside the island
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