My blog was established in conjunction with my participation in FOLK-F121 "World's Arts and Cultures" at Indiana University, Fall 2007.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Ethnographies

I was extremely excited to read about ethnographies in Ch. 7 of our text book. Last year, I was able to take an anthropology class that mainly focused on ethnographies. At the end of the semester I even had to conduct my own mini-ethnography. Since I am a volleyball player, I chose to base my ethnography on the differences of interactions and character between male, female, and co-ed volleyball teams. I focused greatly on the dynamic each team had, who was aggressive, techniques, and reactions.

It was interesting to find out that ethnographic research is the key to folklore. Chapter 7 states that ethnography is the process of studying and learning about groups of people, as well as the written description and analysis of those observations (Sims and Stephens p.202). According to the text, it is with this information learned that folklorists share their ideas (Sims and Stephens p.202).

I had no idea where I would want to go and what I would want to study, but then I noticed that Chapter 7 has a “finding ideas” section. I decided that the first step was deciding not where I wanted to do my ethnography, but what group I wanted to study. Since my major is education, I decided I would want to follow a group of young school children ages 5-10, and study their interactions with each other, their school system, and what their customs are during their school day. I then decided that I would want to go somewhere in South Africa. Their school system is so much different from ours, and as Americans, we often feel that other countries, such as Africa, have a lot to learn from us. I feel, however, that we as Americans have a lot to learn about what they value in education, and how their students interact.

The text book provides a list of tools that I believe are very essential for conducting an ethnography: tape recorder, video recorder, and journals (Sims and Stephens p.206). The journals would be used for my field notes, which are used to provide me with an in-the-moment record of what is going on during my field work (Sims and Stephens p. 206). The tape recorder would be for my interviews that I would have with the children and their teachers. I feel like this would be worth doing because I could learn a lot about my profession, what teaching techniques kids enjoy, and how to incorporate other cultures into my curriculum.

This is my response to Ch. 7 Reflection Question.

Sims, Martha C., and Martine Stephens. Living Folklore An Introduction to the Study of People and Their Traditions. Logan, Utah: Utah State University Press, 2005

2 comments:

Jason Baird Jackson said...

well done

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