Ethnographic Research Project, ANT 200

This project will consist of a seven to ten page essay based on original ethnographic research. You will examine a particular social or cultural issue of your choice, either through interviews or ethnographic observation or both. Some possible topics might include: how people interact or behave in particular social spaces or situations; gender differences in the ways in which people interact in different situations; the range of opinions that people have about a particular social or cultural issue, etc. Whatever topic you choose, make sure that your project is manageable, so that the research can be carried out in a relatively short period of time. No outside readings are required or expected. The group/site studied should be specific, not general (i.e. a particular church, not "Christians," or "hippie" styles at WWC, not "hippies." Your report should focus on three or four important "points" that show how underlying cultural values or themes are expressed in the group, site, or issue you are exploring. Most importantly, choose a topic that you are interested in--this project is supposed to be FUN!

Everyone is required to bring in a one or two paragraph description of their research project to class on Wednesday, September 29, and you will be required to discuss the project with me in my office.

Research Methods

This assignment is not a long paper, but it is not one that can be put together at the last minute. Begin your research right away! The research method you choose should be the one which will give you the most pertinent information for your particular project, and should involve one of the following or a combination:

  1. Ethnographic Observation
    1. Choose either three different public spaces or a single public space over at least three different time periods (depending on your research topic)
    2. You should take at least one hour for each observation sexxion.
    3. Take detailed notes on both the ethnographic frame (time of day, description of the site, etc.) and on all pertinent interactions that take place within it
  2. Interviews
    1. Depending on the nature of the topic, you should carry out either:
      • individual interviews (with 4-6 people for one hour each, or shorter interviews with more people
      • group interviews/focus groups (2 groups of 3-6 people, about one and a half hours each
    2. Prepare a list of questions beforehand but be flexible and allow the conversation to take its own path
    3. Either tape record the interview (with permission) or take good notes on what is said

Writing up the Results

Feel free to be creative in the writing up of your findings, but there is a specific format for this assignment, and you should include the following:

Like every other assignment in this class, the paper should be well-written, grammatically correct, without misspellings or other writing errors. The paper must, of course, be typed and stapled. If you have difficulties with writing, please make an appointment to see the excellent tutors at the writing center well before the paper is due.

The rough draft will be due Monday, November 29 (right after Thanksgiving Break, and two weeks before the final draft). If you can't work on it over break, turn it on on the 22nd, before break. During the week after Thanksgiving I will meet with each student individually to figure out what must be done to get the best possible final product.

The final draft is due on Monday, December 13. Late papers will be penalized signficantly, if they are accepted at all!

These are the topics chosen by this semester's students:

Spring 2005
On CampusOff Campus
SkateboardersKyle CarpenterSociety for Creative Anachronism Emma Richardson
Dreadlocked StudentsNodin DeSaillanBean Streets Cafe Danielle Baumgartner, Hilary Collins
GladfelterMoriah Floyd
Student CaucusClay GibsonHomeless Daryll Breau, Tista Sola
Carson CrewElizabeth Koenig
Archaeology CrewAndrea GlennDowntown Books and News/ Barnes and NobleAnneliese Ranzoni
Dogwood PastureRichard GoerwitzWaffle House Baldwin Saer
Art and ENS majorsGarrett JohnsonOpen Mic Nights Ahliae Toulouse
Gladfelter Morning CrewSarah Beth Latane
Farm CrewTommy Otey
Ping Pong in GladfelterAaron Stein
3rd SunderlandLeslie Springs
Students Attitudes Towards PetsCandace Anthony
Extreme SportsNathan Bell
First SunderlandTeddy Gerlach
Dorm RDsAndrew Morin
Library CrewZoe Siegler
College DealersDavid Nosse
Sage DormAdam Matthews

And some from previous semesters:

Fall 2004
On CampusOff Campus
Theater CrewLauren BakerTwo Baptist Churches Jessica Baker
Computer CrewChris BunyanPritchard Park Sarah de Leiris
WWC ChristiansNora BurgerWal-Mart William Franklin
Gladfelter vs. CompieSheila ButlerPatton Ave CruisersWill Gulley
Non-Student Nomads on CampusLoren Cardeli
Headphone WearersTina Ford-CoxTarget vs. Wal-MartGabe Haynes
Symbolism of NightElia LehmanGreyhound Bus PatronsHeidi Reynolds-Stenson
Sage CafeRichard Peart
Perceptions of Drug UseClarissa Rocha
BubbasHannah Rudinski
Cigarette SmokersMatt Walker
WWC SkateboardersKatie Walsh
Gladfelter Ping PongChris Woodson
Spring 2004
On CampusOff Campus
Eco DormDavid AndrewsHorse PeopleJulia Bond
Radical Politics at WWCJacob CurtisContra Dancing Hart Dalhouser, Justin Wall
Landscaping CrewMartha EberleAsheville Mall Brittany Doss
WWC DreadlocksSeth JonesMan's Ruin Tattoo Parlor Mariel Epstein
Shafer C GarbageMay MelvinTour Kids Austin Gerber
WWC Straight EdgeBrianna QuickDog Show PeopleKim Hall
Cow PieTom RomanoffRoom at the Inn Liana Johannaber
Drug Use on CampusJosh ShemroskeCapoeira in Asheville Wyn Miller
Garden CrewCameron StallingsA Japanese RestaurantMary Scherer
Archaeology CrewJohanna VasekFarm Crew RitualsEdwin Self
WWC Women SmokersDebbie WeingartenCandler Trailer ParkAmber Singleton
A Nursing HomeVanessa Sowl
Fall 2002
On CampusOff Campus
Half JewsJesse BellantoneQuaker meetingAlice Baker
Gay Males at WWCSam GaultLive Music in Asheville Byron Browne
Ultimate Frisbee teamMatthew GeorgeVincent's Ear Ruby Chorbajian
Student Activities CrewCharlie MeltonPolice Tim DeBenedetti
Sunderland basementTom HughesFrench Broad Food Coop Sara Donnelly
Shafer DormAndrew MercurioSwannanoa InglesTashi Dorji
Chemistry cultureBart PfautzProject Steam Natalia Gibson
"Stoner" subcultureArwen PotterJam Band Followers Sara Grotkowski
Image in SunderlandPatrick ReidTrophy ClubDaniel Huff-Hannon
Library cultureKen ShimizuIrish SessionShaina Kapeluck
FarmDavid TormeyThrift StoresPatrick Kutcher
Bathroom GrafittiShiras Manning
Bluegrass performanceJesse Mitchell
Tarwheels Skate RinkHolly Myers
Six Pack SmokestackWeesie Pigman
Senegalese in AshevilleSokhna Sene
A Black Mountain neighborhoodJed Willis
Spring 2002
On CampusOff Campus
Farm CrewKen DeanSt. Nicholas Orthodox Church Kelly Binderim
Work Program OfficeBeth DecatoGrove Park Inn Zach Lucy
Environmental Leadership CenterGinger LandersWaffle HouseMegan Reehl, Brayden Bohmer
Landscaping CrewKatrina RothHare Krishnas Jeremy Hardcastle
Sunderland basementTom HughesSkateboarders Ripley Whiteside
WWC Web RadioBaikal HarrisMigrant WorkersWill Pierzala
Table 9Miles StokesDental Hygeine Thomas Wilder
Post OfficeFaba NamgyalHuddle vs. Waffle House Jennie Clements
Theater CrewMedora Cockey3 Coffee ShopsMatthew Biggers
Health Center crewLogan SlaughterDelta HouseLaura Dean
Hip Hop FansJacob FrankelKids in a Group HomeJaime Green
A Small ChurchKirsten Schubert
Asheville punk sceneJonah Neale

Fall 2001
On CampusOff Campus
Sutton porchPhilippa Coleman"At Risk" 4th gradersDan Campbell
International StudentsJessica HoyleCoffee houses Emilie Clairmont
Womens Soccer teamAnna HalliganDo Drop Inn Rachael Garner
BubbaBlair LarcenFunerals Anna Kasinecz
Garden crewJessica MosherBlack Mountain bar Charlotte Lindeman
Sage CafeVanessa Pruitt, Darryl VarretTravelling anarco-kidsKate Miller
Farm crewMorgan SmithQuakers Collier Reeves
Auto Shop crewJimmy StultzKaritan Sonya Schewe
Kitchen workersMike Talbot
Waffle House Adam Reisman, Lauren Trask
A Japanese Steakhouse Kelly Blunt

Spring 2001
On CampusOff Campus
Vegan coopSamuel Adams3 Asheville barsMegan Best
Bathroom EtiquetteJennifer CurtisUnitarian Church Elizabeth Blevins
Coed and same sex dormsEmily DaleGrocery Stores Peter Cratin, Llora Kressman
Vining communityRyan DonnellyClub life Lynn Levine
Schaefer courtyardPhil DelavanWaffle House Elvi Loos
Birth control use on campusElena ElstonContra dancers Eliza Martin
A female cliqueMegan PenrodCasinos Drew MayKuth
Sage CafeDana RobisonCommon Ground drumming & dancing Gillian Roos
The Garden crewJoy VanDervort-SneedNatural Mystic Coffee HouseBen Weidner
The Landscaping crewMariah StrickerSylva metalheads Alan Bowman
MACFC Day Care centerRachel Schwartz