ANTH 1000W Mansfield festival Fieldwork Research Essay

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Mapping a block
Anth1000W-002
Fieldwork assignment 2
Shiming Lu
09/21/2018
Mapping a block
The location I choose to map is the community I live near our campus. This location is
really special for me. Because I am an international student in this place. However, this
location makes me feel the feeling of a long-lost home. Here are lots of town houses which
look like are almost the same. Outside of the community is a little forest and sometimes there
are lots of wild animals like squirrels and raccoons running on the road. On the back of the
community is a small shopping mall. Lots of restaurant there and there is a small cinema
where I usually spend a happy time with my friends. On the right side of the community is a
highway which direct to Hartford and New York. I almost drive on that highway for hundred
of times to visit Hartford and New York city. And the road in front of my community is the
way to our campus. I think I have to drive on this way for at least twice a day for taking
courses.
The most regular thing that I have notice is the living conditions of residents in our
community. It is quite different from the living conditions in my hometown which is in
China. I lived in a center of city in China. The people there are fast paced who are almost
spend their all day in their work. However, when I first time come to my community in USA,
I feel a totally different living condition in this country. The mansfield center ( which the
city I lived now) is like a leisurely small country. People here are more willing to enjoy a
comfortable life rather than spend their whole life in their work. I saw lot of old couples
walking around their dogs every day under the sunset. Even in the morning, lots of young
man running in the morning at sunrise. My friends who are also international students from
China lived together in this community. During the term we study here, the neighborhood
looks more lively because many students and young people here. They get up early to take
course in the campus and even there are lots of parties in the evening of the weekend. Once I
take summer courses here, lots of my friend and classmates back to their hometown or take
travels to other places. The whole community looks very lonely during that summer. The
only thing I can see in the morning is the garbage truck and the bird on the trees.
However, the only thing here I cannot find is the fast-paced people who are like my
neighbors spending the whole life on work in my hometown. And I do think it is the most
different part with my past life experience. For I enjoy a totally different life condition here.
And this point really attract me a lot to enjoy my experience of studying abroad.
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Shiming Lu
Professor Noga Shemer
ANTH 1000W
March 13 2019
Fieldwork Research
The public activity that will be featured in this fieldwork research is the Mansfield
festival. This is a public event that is open to all residents and takes place at the Mansfield town
square. The festival is full of various activities and one gets to enjoy cultural and ethnic diversity
and get the feel of different cultures and beliefs. Additionally, the parade that took place during
the festival was eye-opening; hence one gets to understand how people interpret culture and their
surroundings. The festival is a one-day event which opens in the morning and runs through the
day until the late hours of the evening. Besides the festival is educational and is a way in which
the people and students in the community come together to celebrate one another, culture, food
diversity and the society at large.
Walking around and taking observations of the festival it is clear it is an event that brings
together different people. The number of all the people that attended the festival could be well
above one thousand. Additionally, the number of men and women who participated in the event
was on a balance although the women were slightly more. Due to the performing bands and the
parade that takes place children are also included in the attendance list. On the other hand, due to
the parade one can notice that the festival also attracts actors and artist from a variety of art and
culture fields. Additionally, the city mayor and county officials also attend the festival. This is to
show that they have support for the residents and also appreciate the diversity of culture that
people enjoy during the event.
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During the festival, people tend to use the opportunity to launch their new businesses.
Apart from people starting new businesses during the festival, the event has helped in ensuring
that businesses grow. Over the years that the event has taken place, there has been tremendous
growth of restaurants and business around the area as the locals report. Initially, business grew
and opened at a slower pace; however, as the number of local students and international ones
continues to increase enterprises have also expanded. Showcasing during the events are different
food stores, restaurants which enables one to see the adventure that people have in creating new
recipes.
On the other hand the parade performance apart from the culture they also have diversity
in fashion and blending of different colors for their costumes. On the other side, the people
attending the festival are mostly dressed casually, and one can spot a few wearing sports gear.
Additionally, while there are few places provided for sitting the majority of people preferred
picnic mats to sit on the open ground facing the performance podium.
During the festival different events take place. In opening the ceremony, the marching
band gives a breathtaking performance. This opens the celebrations to other participants such as
the parade, actors, and entertainers from various fields. From showcasing food stands and
restaurants, the festival has numerous booths showcasing other significant activities such as
sports. Additionally, people in those booths are welcoming and ready to answer any questions
that challenging to the residents. The festival is a good way of bringing people together and
ensuring that students and the community at large interact with one another. People seem to
relate well with one another while enjoying food tasting from different stands. The music from
the performing bands has a rhythmic flow which takes the attention of the crowd.
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The festival is a relaxing occasion which helps people to break from the day to day
norms. Some of the actors that were performing with puppetry confirmed that they love
performing and making people happy. Additionally, the actors appreciate when they showcase
the talent and passion to get appreciation from people. On the other interviewing some of the
people attending the festival one observes how much people appreciate the community. People
attend the festival to learn new businesses that are coming up. While people enjoy having a
different taste of restaurants showcasing during the event; they also enjoy interacting and
meeting new people. Business owners appreciate that such a festival takes place since it helps
their businesses grow. More so people that are new to the area and new international students get
to learn of the traditions of the people.
From observation made and looking at the number of attendees at the festival, it is clear
that the event has gained popularity over time. Just like the actor’s interview confirmed the
enjoyment they get to experience during the event one can tell from the expression of people.
International students get to interact with people from other places. The interaction between
people is a channel that can open new opportunities. This mostly applies to the business people
and those that might be interested in starting up businesses. Additionally, through the festival
people can get new contacts for instance if one needs to learn more about athletics and sports.
Even with the many things that were showcased at the festival the majority of it was a
food stand. However, this is due to the increased number of students in the area. Attending the
festival one who expects that there would be showcases for things such as fashion and clothing
lines. Reason being students also have a substantial interest in fashion and would do great
showcasing during the event. Additionally, as the festival has different games as part of the
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events, it would of value to include movies and comic books as well. Children attend the festival
and would be much interested in a segment of films and comic books.
There are numerous lessons learned from conducting fieldwork at the festival. People get
caught up with working and the day’s activities, however with such events there a new reflection
of life. Through the festival, one can learn about the partnership that exists between the
community and the students. Additionally, music is not only a form of entertainment but also, it
brings people together. Through the event, one can learn people are unique; however they share
similar likings and appreciate diversity. Through the puppetry performance, it is clear that people
appreciate the past and encourage the current generation to learn from the history. On the other
hand, food diversity has a connection to culture. Some people have held on to recipes that have
been passed down from one generation to another. The methods that have been the same in a
family line for a long time define the solid belief of culture that people appreciate.
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Work Cited
Celebrate Mansfield Showcases Mutual Benefits of town-university partnership. The Daily
Campus. http://dailycampus.com/stories/2016/9/19/celebrate-mansfield-showcasesmutual-benefits-of-town-university-partnership
Fieldwork: Mapping a Block
Develop your ethnographic skills of observation, description, and analysis by drawing a map
of a block or public space in your community and writing a narrative (one-page minimum)
about what you find.
Select an interesting location for your mapping project. You may choose to map a block defined
as an area bounded on four sides by streets; as both sides of a single street (include the corners);
or as the four corners of an intersection. Alternatively, you may choose to map an outdoor
public space such as a park or campus quadrangle, or an indoor space such as a shopping mall or
your college’s student center. In these cases, focus on what is inside the space or inside the
building’s four walls.
Bring your anthropologist’s toolkit, and spend time in your chosen location. Take careful notes.
Pay attention to details. For an outdoor space, note streets, buildings, businesses, residences,
schools, hospitals, and infrastructure such as streetlights, sewers, telephone and electric lines, as
well as transportation and pedestrian traffic. For an indoor space, note rooms, offices,
businesses, hallways, entry and exit locations, public and private areas, lighting, sounds, and
smells. Also note the people – their activities, movements, characteristics, gender, age, etc.
Now notice who or what is absent that you might have expected to find. Not all information
presents itself immediately, so be patient. Consider taking photos or shooting video of your
location to supplement your hand-drawn map. Consider asking people to tell you about the
space from their perspective. To observe changes in your location, visit more than once. Vary
the time of day or day of the week.
On a blank page, draw a map of the block or space, including the details you record. We
are not all future architects or graphic artists, but take time to draw your map carefully. Use a
pencil and ruler to begin. Add sketches and unique details. Consider adding colors and perhaps
a legend to help your reader navigate the details of your map. You will turn this in with your
answers to the questions below.
Now write up a description and analysis of your findings (one-page minimum), based on
the following 5 questions:
1. What location did you choose? What drew you to it? Describe what you found.
2. What are 3 things you noticed in your observations that you’ve never noticed before in
your own regular, day-to-day interactions with the space?
3. How do these observations enhance your understanding of the space? In other words, do
you experience this space differently now?
4. What is absent that you might have expected to find? Is this absence significant – and if
yes, why?
5. How do your observations vary over multiple visits? What might be significant about
these differences?
You need to turn in both your answers to these questions and your map for credit on
this assignment.
Essay:
You have read in this chapter about methods anthropologists use to conduct fieldwork, and
learned that participant observation is the hallmark of anthropological inquiry. Now it is time for
you to conduct your own field research. One of the ways that anthropologists are able to conduct
solid observation is at rituals, which by definition are activities that have established steps, or at
other activities with set rules. While we think of the former as religious activities, we can also
consider other settings such as courtrooms, sporting events, or graduations to be activities with
firmly established steps or rules that are familiar to members of the society where they are
practiced. If necessary, make sure to ask permission from participants before conducting your
observations.
The benefit of conducting research at activities with specified steps is that the participants and
those watching know what to expect. This enables the researcher to ask those involved about the
activity should they miss something.
To complete this project, you will need to carry out the following steps.
A. Select a public activity that meets those of the previously mentioned criteria that you are
unfamiliar with. Write a paragraph in advance summarizing why you selected this
activity and what you hope to learn by attending and observing at it. State the methods
you are using, and the location, duration and purpose of the event you attend.
B. Attend the event, and record your observations. Specifically, using at least two methods
discussed in the chapter, you should do the following:
C. Sketch out a diagram of the location where the event is held.
D. Make a chart with the individuals who attend and participate in the event. This should
include roughly how many actors there are, and their ages, sex, and any distinguishing
features. Moreover, there should be a count of how many people are in attendance, with
the same information (age, sex, other distinguishing features).
E. Make sure to discuss how long the event lasts.
F. If there are people in authority positions, discuss what this position was and how they
performed it. For the latter, discuss how they were dressed, how they spoke, and any
other relevant information that set them apart from other participants.
G. Record what you see occurring during the event, with activities that occur in order. If
the audience responds in any way, write that down.
H. Write up a minimum of two to three pages of field notes based on your observations.
I. Consider what you would want to know if you were to interview an actor and observer in
this ritual. Write down five questions. Make sure to request that they recount for you
what just happened and whether it followed the script that they had expected.
J. Interview two participants in the event – one an actor and the other a member of the
audience. Write down their answers to these questions.
K. Compile your data and observations into a paper in which you discuss the following:
1. The event you attended, including location and time, and number of attendees and
actors. Discuss what they were wearing if significant, and include your chart.
2. Your notes about the activities, including a map that illustrates where actors and
attendees were at the start of the event. If you are allowed to take photos, you
could also include one. Make sure to ask permission before photographing.
3. The data you collected in your interviews.
4. Your analysis of the data. Do your observations coincide with those of the actors?
Ask them what accounted for the discrepancy between what they or attendees
expected and what actually occurred. .
Conclude with your reaction to conducting fieldwork. What did you learn by systematically
conducting ethnographic research? How did your understanding of this event to conduct change
after you systematically conducted the research described here? What, if anything, did you learn
from seeking the emic perspective through interviewing that you missed in your observations?
Essay:
You have read in this chapter about methods anthropologists use to conduct fieldwork, and
learned that participant observation is the hallmark of anthropological inquiry. Now it is time for
you to conduct your own field research. One of the ways that anthropologists are able to conduct
solid observation is at rituals, which by definition are activities that have established steps, or at
other activities with set rules. While we think of the former as religious activities, we can also
consider other settings such as courtrooms, sporting events, or graduations to be activities with
firmly established steps or rules that are familiar to members of the society where they are
practiced. If necessary, make sure to ask permission from participants before conducting your
observations.
The benefit of conducting research at activities with specified steps is that the participants and
those watching know what to expect. This enables the researcher to ask those involved about the
activity should they miss something.
To complete this project, you will need to carry out the following steps.
A. Select a public activity that meets those of the previously mentioned criteria that you are
unfamiliar with. Write a paragraph in advance summarizing why you selected this
activity and what you hope to learn by attending and observing at it. State the methods
you are using, and the location, duration and purpose of the event you attend.
B. Attend the event, and record your observations. Specifically, using at least two methods
discussed in the chapter, you should do the following:
C. Sketch out a diagram of the location where the event is held.
D. Make a chart with the individuals who attend and participate in the event. This should
include roughly how many actors there are, and their ages, sex, and any distinguishing
features. Moreover, there should be a count of how many people are in attendance, with
the same information (age, sex, other distinguishing features).
E. Make sure to discuss how long the event lasts.
F. If there are people in authority positions, discuss what this position was and how they
performed it. For the latter, discuss how they were dressed, how they spoke, and any
other relevant information that set them apart from other participants.
G. Record what you see occurring during the event, with activities that occur in order. If the
audience responds in any way, write that down.
H. Write up a minimum of two to three pages of field notes based on your observations.
I. Consider what you would want to know if you were to interview an actor and observer in
this ritual. Write down five questions. Make sure to request that they recount for you
what just happened and whether it followed the script that they had expected.
J. Interview two participants in the event – one an actor and the other a member of the
audience. Write down their answers to these questions.
K. Compile your data and observations into a paper in which you discuss the following:
1. The event you attended, including location and time, and number of attendees and
actors. Discuss what they were wearing if significant, and include your chart.
2. Your notes about the activities, including a map that illustrates where actors and
attendees were at the start of the event. If you are allowed to take photos, you
could also include one. Make sure to ask permission before photographing.
3. The data you collected in your interviews.
4. Your analysis of the data. Do your observations coincide with those of the actors?
Ask them what accounted for the discrepancy between what they or attendees
3. The data you collected in your interviews.
4. Your analysis of the data. Do your observations coincide with those of the actors?
Ask them what accounted for the discrepancy between what they or attendees
expected and what actually occurred. .
Conclude with your reaction to conducting fieldwork. What did you learn by systematically
conducting ethnographic research? How did your understanding of this event to conduct change
after you systematically conducted the research described here? What, if anything, did you learn
from seeking the emic perspective through interviewing that you missed in your observations?

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