Mini-Ethnography Assignment: “Next-Door Anthropology”
For this course, you will become a RESEARCHER writing an ethnography about the community of Mission Viejo. You will be first and foremost required to include the name,
“Mission Viejo” in the title of your ethnography. You will be writing about anything in the community that interests you. Some ideas for your area of research are
listed below. Please choose between the participant observation and interview options to complete your ethnography.
Option 1: (participant) observation
How to approach this assignment
1. Context. Find a setting that you are interested in learning more about. Or, you can choose a setting in which you have already begun carrying out research, or which
you are involved in socially already. It may be a setting to which you already have access to, or which you experience on a regular basis.
2. Ethics. Consider your impact on the environment. Is the setting a public place which does not require you to inform people that they are being observed? How might
you inform people that they are part of a research project? Consider how to maintain anonymity.
3. Assumptions. Try not to prove pre-existing theories you have about the context and activities happening (and then see how hard this is!). Remember that an
ethnographer’s research questions should arise in the process of observation, as do answers to research questions.
4. Time. While I don’t want to make static time requirements for this assigment, the concept of ‘intense observation’ should connote more than one or two hours of
observation. The time you spend on this project really depends on what you are examining. If you are studying how people position their bodies in elevators, then
you’ll only have a few minutes of elevator riding time per day, for example. Alternatively, you could study behaviors in a cafe or classroom for an hour at a time. It
really depends. Try to dedicate your looking to at least one week’s worth of activities in a systematic fashion (e.g., observe one class 5x in one week; observe a cafe
for a half an hour at the same time each day)
Guidelines for ‘looking’:
1. Observers try to uncover and record the unspoken common sense assumptions of the group that they are studying. Look for immediate and local meanings which appear to
matter to the people you are observing.
2. Draw. Field notes should be more than writing; drawing maps and sketching activities is often very useful when trying to remember the details of what you have seen.
Include notes about body language, environment, and noise. What is going on around this context that may be shaping it?
3. Reflect on your own actions. As Dorinne Kondo writes, ethnographers alter themselves in order to fit into their contexts as unobtrusive observers and as participant
observers. How much do you have to adapt yourself in order to learn about the context and culture that you are studying?
4. Try to find emic categories and terms that the participants themselves use. How do these emic concepts organize the activities that you are observing?
5. Systematically look for discrepant cases or anomalies. If most people seem to be doing an activity the same way, notice who does it differently. What seems to be
going on here?
6. Try various kinds of observation. Be a silent observer one time, and talk to people the next (if relevant).
7. If you are interested in critical/feminist approaches to research, consider how power is located in the practices you are observing.
Writing it up
As you are observing, you should take notes (handwritten) and keep these to hand in with the assignment. After each period of observation, you should spend at least 15
minutes examining your notes, and then writing at least a paragraph of meta-level observations. In other words, what have you noticed about what you noticed? Go
through these steps systematically each time you engage in observation.
For the due date, include the following in a folder:
1. notes from the field
2. field notes (meta-level observations) – post-field notes
3. 3-4 page (double-spaced) narrative on the experience. This should include your discussion of point #3 under “guidelines for ‘looking’”, and it should include any
‘findings’ that you believe you have found. What did your observation yield? How did these relate to any assumptions you had about the context? What might be the next
step in a research project that would carry on with the particular context that you observed? What other methods might you turn to next in order to probe the context
Option 2: Interview(s)
If you choose interviews, you will need to also include some aspect of observation in the assignment. What has led you to interview a certain population? What
noticings or observations have established a need for interviews? What have you noticed about a specific context that makes you want to interview people about their
beliefs, actions, and experiences?
How to approach this assignment
1. Context. Find a setting that you are interested in learning more about. Your mini ethnography will need to involve interviews with people who experience the same
context. A context is not “English language teachers” -this is a population. Observe this context at least one time before moving on with interviews. Follow the steps
in Option 2 for the observation element (field notes).
2. Interviewees. If you can ascertain that there are different populations that experience the same context (e.g., a classroom), then it will be important to interview
representatives from each population (e.g., teacher, student). Try to interview at least 2 people.
3. Time and transcription. Limit your interviews to 3 hours maximum. You do not need to transcribe your interviews for this assignment. You are welcome to use short
excerpts in your write-up. Instead, you will record them and then listen to them, taking notes as you go. These notes will be the ‘meta-level’ field notes, similar to
the observation option above.
4. Technique. See the attached literature for the interview techniques. This means that you will mostly be considering ‘what’ questions, rather than ‘how’ questions.
Use the interviews to get a deeper understanding of a particular community or individual’s experience or activities, rather than analyze the interview interaction
Guidelines for interviewing
1. Record your interviews AND take notes as you go. Use a reliable recorder and PRACTICE using it. Bring extra batteries. Find a quiet space for the interview.
2. Tell your own story or provide a detailed description of your own stake in the research area as a starting point. This will help you to create a comfortable
relationship with your interviewee, and it is part of the ‘active interview’ concept as well. It is also part of informing the interviewee about the purpose of the
research, and hence, relates to the concept of ‘informed consent.’
3. Use open-ended questions whenever possible.
4. Use ‘structuring’ language that keeps the interviewee informed where the interview is headed next.
5. Don’t restrict yourself to your prepared questions. One of the best strategies to use is to probe an idea produced by your interviewee in the preceding turn.
Writing it up
For the due date, include the following in a folder:
1. Field notes from initial observation.
2. List of interview questions.
3. 3-4 page (double-spaced) narrative on the experience. This should include any ‘findings’ that you believe you have found. What did your interview yield? How did
these relate to any observations you had made about the context? What might be the next step in a research project that would carry on with the particular context that
you studied? What other methods or other procedures might you turn to next in order to probe the context further?
The Experience of English language learning children in Mission Viejo Schools
Latin American Community Organization in Mission Viejo
Domestic Workers in
PLACE THIS ORDER OR A SIMILAR ORDER WITH US TODAY AND GET AN AMAZING DISCOUNT ?
Our Service Charter
Excellent Quality / 100% Plagiarism-FreeWe employ a number of measures to ensure top quality essays. The papers go through a system of quality control prior to delivery. We run plagiarism checks on each paper to ensure that they will be 100% plagiarism-free. So, only clean copies hit customers’ emails. We also never resell the papers completed by our writers. So, once it is checked using a plagiarism checker, the paper will be unique. Speaking of the academic writing standards, we will stick to the assignment brief given by the customer and assign the perfect writer. By saying “the perfect writer” we mean the one having an academic degree in the customer’s study field and positive feedback from other customers.
Free RevisionsWe keep the quality bar of all papers high. But in case you need some extra brilliance to the paper, here’s what to do. First of all, you can choose a top writer. It means that we will assign an expert with a degree in your subject. And secondly, you can rely on our editing services. Our editors will revise your papers, checking whether or not they comply with high standards of academic writing. In addition, editing entails adjusting content if it’s off the topic, adding more sources, refining the language style, and making sure the referencing style is followed.
Confidentiality / 100% No DisclosureWe make sure that clients’ personal data remains confidential and is not exploited for any purposes beyond those related to our services. We only ask you to provide us with the information that is required to produce the paper according to your writing needs. Please note that the payment info is protected as well. Feel free to refer to the support team for more information about our payment methods. The fact that you used our service is kept secret due to the advanced security standards. So, you can be sure that no one will find out that you got a paper from our writing service.
Money Back GuaranteeIf the writer doesn’t address all the questions on your assignment brief or the delivered paper appears to be off the topic, you can ask for a refund. Or, if it is applicable, you can opt in for free revision within 14-30 days, depending on your paper’s length. The revision or refund request should be sent within 14 days after delivery. The customer gets 100% money-back in case they haven't downloaded the paper. All approved refunds will be returned to the customer’s credit card or Bonus Balance in a form of store credit. Take a note that we will send an extra compensation if the customers goes with a store credit.
24/7 Customer SupportWe have a support team working 24/7 ready to give your issue concerning the order their immediate attention. If you have any questions about the ordering process, communication with the writer, payment options, feel free to join live chat. Be sure to get a fast response. They can also give you the exact price quote, taking into account the timing, desired academic level of the paper, and the number of pages.