Define participant observation, according to our textbook (remember to cite the specific page in our textbook).

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Sep 20, 2022


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Welcome to the Module 2 Writing Assignment! In this assignment, you choose a local field site to conduct your anthropological research — you may go in person or virtually (depending on the field site you choose).
As you write up your Module 2 Writing Assignment: Field Trip Essay, you will also be using anthropological concepts and field methods to describe, analyze, and reflect on what you are learning. You will consider how you use (or would use) the field methods of participant observation and interviews to dig more deeply into the culture. Lastly, you will consider how to respectfully engage with and learn from people, as you reflect on the ethical implications of your fieldwork.
Focused reading
Textbook chapters 2 and 3 with particular attention in chapter 3 to participant observation and interviews (Nelson 2020, 58-60), “key informants” (Nelson 2020, 61-62), and ethical considerations (Nelson 2020, 63-65).
Participant Observation Tutorial, “When the clay is wet, ‘it smells like rain’: Participant Observation: Hands-on Experience.”
Look at other textbook chapters that relate to the type of event or place you are exploring for this Field Trip.
Choose a place to visit (this can be virtually) that is anthropologically and culturally relevant. Think: What would you like to learn more about? This is your field site!
Conduct field work by visiting the site (this can be virtually).
Conduct research on scholarly sources (in addition to your textbook) by locating/visiting at least one outside source related to this site.
Here are some suggestions for your field site (if you choose another place, please consult with your instructor for approval):
International border
San Xavier Mission
Museum exhibit (example: look at cultural representation)
Refugee Services (choose website of a specific organization that serves refugees)
Broaden your horizons: a specific place you would like to visit in Africa, East Asia, South America, Southeast Asia
Write your essay, following the Essay Requirements (below).
Submit your essay to the Assignments tool.
Copy and paste a copy to the module Discussion.
See the Schedule of Work for due dates.
Essay Requirements
Your essay should be a minimum of 500 words, using a minimum of two scholarly sources, (your textbook, and at least one outside source), a Bibliography (Works Cited), and in-text citations (also called an internal citation). You may use MLA, APA or Chicago; just be consistent in your usage. Remember: Whenever you use a source, you must provide an in-text citation.
Are you allowed to go over the minimum number of words and sources? You should determine the number of words and sources you need by whether you have answered the questions fully and well. You may go over the minimums, but not under.
Reminder: Submit your essay to the Assignments tool, and then paste a copy into the Discussion to share with the class. Read the essays posted by your peers, and post a comment to three peers (60 words minimum each). Each comment should have three items: one positive comment on the content, one tip (can be for improvement, or a reference to a website or a chapter in the textbook), and one specific item that is anthropologically relevant.
1. Introduction: In your opening paragraph, introduce the site of your field trip. Give a general summary of information about the topic.
2. Exploration: This is the heart of your essay! Share what you learned during your field trip. Include at least one in-text citation from at least one source.
Use a holistic perspective. A holistic perspective takes a broad view of the historical, environmental, and cultural foundations of behavior. Choose ONE of these, since this is a short essay, and describe the historical, environmental, or cultural foundations of this site.
3. Digging deeper! Use these two important anthropological fieldwork methods!
Participant observation. Define participant observation, according to our textbook (remember to cite the specific page in our textbook). Explain at least two things you did (or would do) as part of a cultural activity with people at this site or event; this should be one of their own cultural activities (2-3 sentences for each of these). How would taking part in this activity with members of the group help you learn more about their culture?
Interview. What is one question you would ask a person at that site? Explain how that would help you learn more deeply about that culture or practice.
4. Ethical considerations:
Conclude with a short (3-4 sentence) discussion of one ethical issue (such as informed consent) you may encounter while conducting your participant observation or interview. Explain how you would address that as a professional anthropologist.
5. Bibliography or References List at the end of the essay.
Remember: Use grammar and spell-check! Include a bibliography and two in-text citations – one from a source in the field trip required materials, and one from our text readings for this module.
Submit your essay to the Assignments tool.
Copy and paste a copy of your essay into the Discussion tool.
Read the essays posted by your peers, and a post a comment to three peers (minimum 60 words each). Each comment should have three items: one positive comment on the content, one tip (can be for improvement, or a reference to a website or a chapter in the textbook), and one specific item that is anthropologically relevant.


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