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Project #2: Ethnography

Why Study Local Cultures? At WMU, there are thousands of different people. A lot of them are from the around Michigan and the Midwest, but a great many others are from all around the world. When these people converge, their unique interests, backgrounds, experiences, skills, and ideas also converge, creating a new synthesis of cultures. WMU has many micro-cultures: different majors, athletic events, teams, places of employment, hangouts, student groups, classes, etc. Forming micro cultures is a very human way of feeling like one “belongs” or has community. By learning about specific cultures we get a better understanding of WMU and where we think we belong within it. Your Assignment For this assignment, you will choose a local culture that you belong to (or one you can get access to) and do field research on it. From the data you gather, you will create one of two types of ethnography articles. The first that you may choose is as an outside observer. This is sort of like a National Geographic article, one in which the people’s rituals, customs, language, etc, are described in the 3rd person and in an objective way. I will give examples in class so don’t worry if you’re not sure about this. The second type of writing that you may choose is an autobiographical format. This style is subjective and written in the 1st person point of view (your own). Again, I will provide examples. You will also be required to integrate at least two pictures or diagrams to illustrate things that you describe in your article. In either writing style, you should imagine that the reader is completely ignorant of everything to do with the culture you are describing, so everything needs to be explained in detail. Elements of Project Folder: • A 2-3 page single-spaced article with images integrated along with the text. (Note that the format is as an article, so it should have a catchy title) • All process and research materials that we accumulate: Drafts of Article Interview and/or Observation Notes Peer-Editing Sheets Project Proposal Reflection Following this timeline will probably be your best bet to success in this project. I’m giving you a lot of responsibility with this one to have things completed on your own and go in a lot of different directions with it – I am deviating from what other ENGL1000 classes are doing. We will have plenty of time to work on it in class and you can always come to me with questions. Please don’t make me turn this class into a chore – which probably will happen if I find that people are not doing all the necessary process work. Have 3 Potential Cultures to Research by: Wednesday, September 25 Have Research Proposal done by: Monday, September 30 (Also, Project 1 is due) Conduct Research: Wednesday, October 2 through Monday, October 7 Have First Draft by: Wednesday, October 9 Work on Second Draft: Monday, October 14 through Wednesday, October 16 Final Project Due: Monday, October 21