Ethnographer for a Day

Imagine that you are an ethnographer trying to understand student life at Queens College, NYC.  You will spend one day of fieldwork exploring your field site, talking to key informants, getting the insider perspective, participating in and observing some activity/activities that interest you.  Hint:  find some specific context/locale that you can use as a springboard, for example, an event, a meeting, a gathering, the library, the dining hall, an administrative office, a club meeting, a social situation, a classroom, etc.  You should use your fieldwork notes as a basis for cultural analysis and write a brief small-moment vignette (with quotes from informants) as evidence.
Write a 4-page essay in which you will
• showcase your knowledge of culture, 
• hone your analytic writing skills, 
• practice anthropological critical thinking skills,
identify elements of culture in your chosen micro-culture,
• create & build an argument, and 
• address the questions/points relative to the prompt. 
Paragraph #1:  Define anthropology, culture, and ethnography and other useful terms.
• Paragraph #2:  Describe your topic and locale and mention any sources that would be good to use as quantitative background information (in a larger version of your study, not necessarily detailed here), and find some useful QC demographic #s for context.
• Paragraph #3:  Describe your methodology/ how you carried out your fieldwork:  Explain what you did, who you talked to and why, participant-observation opportunities you encountered, etc.
Remember to explain your project to informants and assure them you will give them a pseudonym.
Paragraph # 4:  As evidence and to help set the scene, write a one or two paragraph vignette of one particular moment, based on your experience.
• Paragraph #5:  Analyze the vignette/moment as a piece of text evidence in an analytic argument that explains what you discovered about life at QC. Be sure to identify aspects that define the culture.
Paragraph #6:  Place your work in a broader theoretical framework.
Works cited section.
– Please cite your sources for any materials you reference (even the textbook.)

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