Be an anthropologist 2: maldainc

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Assignment 2: Be An Anthropologist 

Due: May 16 Saturday 9pm

The goal of this exercise is to observe a ‘cultural scene’ as an anthropologist would (i.e. based on everything you have learned in the course to-date). The student will analyze their observations in terms of themes from the subfield of cultural anthropology such as how it helps frame our societies (family, lifestyle, lineage, language and communication) and, in some ways, its evolution.

Culture as we have discussed in our readings and lecture notes is an incredible advantage that has allowed humans to enter almost every niche in nature. The development and maintenance of culture is what sets humans apart from other species. Culture varies by time and location. For this assignment, students will be observing a particular setting for 25 minutes, writing up your observations, and then analyzing them. 

In a 3-5 page written assignment, answer the following questions.
1)    1) Discuss culture and its importance to anthropology.
a.       This should include defining culture using the text and/or lecture notes.
2)      2) Choose a time and location for where/when you are going to conduct your observations of an ethnographic scene
a.       Examples of Possible Ethnographic Scenes
                                                              i.      The coming and going of shoppers in a mall
                                                            ii.      Getting on and riding the bus
                                                          iii.      Buying coffee at a coffee shop
                                                          iv.      Crossing at a cross-walk
3)      3) Go to the specified location and proceed with your observations. 
a.       The easiest way to do this is to find a place to sit quietly and to simply watch what is going on. 
                                                              i.      Please do not talk to or interview people during this time.
b.      Take handwritten (recommended) notes in a small notebook and/or mental notes of: 
                                                              i.      details about the scene itself (time of day, lighting, furniture, plants, sounds, temperature, smell, vibe/energy, etc)
                                                            ii.      the people around you, not only their behavior but general information about their  characteristics (age, race/ethnicity, gender, class, etc)
                                                          iii.      what you see people doing
1.      this is the heart of your description and should provide the instructor of how the people you saw were involved in the scene you were observing
                                                          iv.       your thoughts and feelings while observing may be a brief section of the paper.
4)     4)  When your 25 minutes are finished, leave the scene.  In a quiet place, fill out your notes.  Be sure you include more details about the topics from step 3. 
a.       At this time, you should start to think about what themes, patterns, or conclusions you saw.  This step is critical. 
b.      Type up your notes (you will add them to the end of your write-up)
5)    5)  Write a 3 – 5 page reaction paper about your observations   Your paper should include
a.        Discussion about and definition of culture
b.      a ‘thick description’ of the location
                                                              i.      i.e. building you were in (what is the architecture like), descriptions of people there (in terms of characteristics: age, race/ethnicity, gender, socio-economic status), sounds, smells, temperature, time of day and week, etc
c.       clear detail of your observations
d.      analysis of themes and patterns in behavior you observed
                                                              i.      this  and the next requirement are key for a good grade, as it is about observing and commenting – not just describing
e.       analyze your observations, their themes and patterns using at least four anthropological concepts from the text and lecture notes so far
                                                              i.      this should include clearly identifying the concept you are going to use, defining the concept using the text, and then applying the concept to your observation
1.      because you will be paraphrasing or directly quoting from another source, you will need to use APA-formatting with in-text citations and full references
f.       Conclude with a discussion of 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. 
g.      Include your observation notes
Originality of attachments will be verified by Turnitin. Both you and your instructor will receive the results.
All written submissions should be submitted using APA formatting.

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