Ethnographic Fieldwork Self-Assessment
Description: This assignment is an opportunity to reflect on your hypothetical project and your potential work as a fieldworker and an ethnographer. Honest answers are the best answers! Take this as an opportunity to honestly explore your weaknesses as well as strengths.
From the nine (9) categories below, (1) choose three that you think would be your strength as a fieldworker and ethnographer and explain why; and (2) choose three that you think would be your weaknesses as a fieldworker and ethnographer and explain why. Address each question— (1) and (2)—on one page for a total of two pages.
Finally, make sure your answers are comprehensive, include information from the readings and lectures to demonstrate your course materials’ knowledge, and are well-written.
Categories to Assess:
How successful would you be in gaining access? Could the way you plan to use to gain access have positive or negative impacts on your ability to build rapport? Explain
How successfully do you think you could build rapport with the people you are planning to research?
How successful would you be at establishing an acceptable and appropriate role amongst the group you are planning to research? What would your role be? To what extent could you actively craft your role? Would your role allow you to be both a participant and an observer openly? Would your role be natural enough that you would not cause an excessive observer effect?
How successfully do you think you would be at participating in the social worlds that you are observing? To what extent your participation would be an opportunity for you to learn about the social interactions and meanings in your research group?
How successful would you be at observing the phenomena of interest in your project? This includes both your ability to get into place to observe them and your ability to focus on the key details and interactions.
How successful would you be at interacting with your research group? To what extent interactions could be an opportunity to learn about how the group members interact and the meanings they give to things? Discuss interaction both in terms of participation and interviewing.
How successful would you be at taking useful jottings while conducting your research? How would you take jottings? Do you think that jottings could be a distraction to you or cause you problems managing your role and research relationships?
How successful would you be at writing detailed fieldnotes that give detailed descriptions of the social worlds you are researching? How would you write your notes when conducting fieldwork? Would you be able to write freely and lushly, or would you be stuck pondering what and how to write, or would you worry about writing the “right” notes?
How would you make sure you are successful at addressing the research topic at the center of your research project?
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