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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: Drama
  • Word count: 2898

What is Ethnography.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Workshop/coursework 1/teacher: Prof. Anne Murcott Nadine Estelle Abea Topic: Ethnography Introduction "Ethnography is a predominantly qualitative research style using a set of methods in which the researcher takes part overtly or covertly in people's lives for an extended period of time, collecting whatever data are available to throw light on the issue that are the focus of research". To utilize this technique of gathering data, was the main objective of the workshop. 4 different aspects of the conduct of all practical experiences will be illustrated Throughout the assignment. 1.Aspect: Choice of setting Choosing a setting involves also choosing a target audience. I wanted to find an environment where I could observe a variety of different people (different backgrounds, origins and color of skin; all gathering in one specific place). The underground system seemed to me as the perfect choice, since it offered the right ambience for my first, focused observing experience. What troubled me initially was the perspective of observation. I experienced problems placing myself correctly, where I did not have to fear to disturb my target audience. My first perspective was from within a given crowed at the beginning of the platform of the station Kings cross-St. Pancras, just after the stairways. After about 5 minutes I changed position and therefore moved further down to the end of the platform, where only few individuals were standing. This was important since I wanted to change my point of view. It was amazing to experience how images change with only altering perspective. In the middle of the crowed I felt like one of the mass, but as soon as I moved further away from all these people, I became a real observer, noticing much more detail. ...read more.

Middle

I noticed that most of the people were standing at the very beginning of the platform, just after the stairways. It was very hard to trespass. Individuals didn't communicate with each other (except if they knew each other). While standing on the platform most of the civilians pursued different activities like reading, looking at advertisements or listening to music. Only seldom I observed people engaging in neither of these activities. It is very interesting to observe that most of the people avoided eye contact. In general, people seemed relaxed, but became more anxious when the tube did not arrive on time. When this occurred, people began to move nervously, turned around and faced the walls, checking the time and starting to breath more heavily, in a way that everyone else could hear them, affecting others with their nervousness. It happened occationally that Individuals looked at others, but when they were caught, they instantly looked at the floor or started to adapt the activity of other individuals (like reading, looking at the advertisements, etc.). In the case of groups, I could observe that there was more eye contact within the group itself, but also from inside the group to the outside. Second observation: the way people claim space. While walking through the mass of people, I observed that many people, who I touched unintentional, felt very uncomfortable and often looked at me in an aggressive manner. People, when arriving on the platform, looked to their right hand side first and than ahead of them, stopping when they found a free spot. A lot of people obviously felt comfortable by standing at the beginning of the platform, surrounded by other people. ...read more.

Conclusion

An interview is in a sense predictable. In the means of participant observations, one has no influence on the course of events happening at a specific place nor is it possible to have expectations. Interviewing requires preparation, whilst observing solely requires the attention span. The results of observations are open and can be abstract, whilst the course of an interview is generally predictable and the results are mostly concrete. Conclusion To conclude the assignment, I want to express certain thoughts on the overall experience provided by the workshop. All in all it was a valuable experience, because I discovered numerous aspects of life, which I normally would have ignored. I became aware of the fact that we perceive very little of what is going on around us in the environment. In order to participate in individual's daily routine, I had to take a closer look at myself. I learned much about the behavior of people in a specific situation and about the relation of individuals to each other. We live in close proximity to each other and therefore we sometimes depend upon others (in critical situations or crisis) although we might not recognize it frequently. Nonetheless we have to realize that we are very much alike, fearing the same fears and being unsecured about similar issues. The most important educational information, learned during the workshop, was that it is very important to question oneself before criticizing other individuals. At the end of the workshop, while revising my notes, I realized that I often criticized or felt an antipathy against specific people, and examining myself as a person, I sometimes recognized that I was very similar as the mentally criticized individuals. Therefore I am very grateful to have realized my own mistakes (prejudice) and consequently will in the future benefit from this past experience. ...read more.

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