“Since the dawn of humankind …” how many times have you read a student paper that started like this? Or perhaps simply a paper with an argument WAY beyond the scope of the evidence presented to back it up? I have certainly found these to be common tendencies among students at the various public and private institutions where I’ve taught. Many students arrive at college believing that a good argument is a powerful argument and that a powerful argument is one that makes a big claim (i.e. people are like this, society does that). What they don’t understand of course is that making a big, unsupported claim also sacrifices the quality of an argument.
outline exercise is aimed at helping students to: a) construct an argument that
is supported by the evidence they have collected, b) similarly, to construct an
argument that is derived from an analysis of the evidence—as opposed to an
argument imposed upon their evidence, and c) how to use evidence to effectively
support their argument.
When I was in college,
these skills did not come easily to me. I, like my students arrived at college
with an idea of how to structure a paper (e.g. intro + thesis statement, three
body paragraphs, and a conclusion, bam!), but I had little idea of how to
structure an argument or how to use evidence to effectively support it. I would
mic drop quotes into essays, assuming the evidence stood for itself. I was
simultaneously afraid to be too explicit about what my evidence meant, and overconfident
about making grand generalizations.
After years of
running into this with my students, I finally decided to break the mechanics of
argument construction down into a simplified template. This template for a
conceptual outline is best employed as a sub-assignment of a larger scaffolded
project. I typically require its completion within 2-3 weeks before the
deadline for the paper of which it is a part. This lead time ensures that
students are thinking concretely about their project sufficiently in advance of
the deadline. It also allows sufficient time for conceptual adjustments and/or
additional data collection.
students to approach the exercise as a draft. It is important for them to feel
comfortable to take risks in their argument and analysis and not to feel judged
in doing so. I suggest that they experiment by proposing more than one possible
argument. The idea is for them to try things out. While I do not grade the
assignment, I do give feedback. Thus, this can be a bit of work intensive
exercise for the professor. That said, I’ve found that the work put in at this
stage yields vastly improved final papers, which are ultimately much less work
for the outline is really very simple (see link to template below). It asks for
piece of evidence/data you plan to use to support your thesis.
that they provide and analyze 3 pieces of evidence, though they are welcome to
include more if they would like. Similarly, I indicate that while this exercise
only requires 3 pieces of evidence, their final paper will inevitably require
students, completing this outline template is a completely new experience and
can be a bit of a struggle. Though I take pains to detail what exactly
constitutes evidence/data (i.e. a direct
quote, an observation, something specific), some students nonetheless include
unrevealing “data” such as, “interview with interlocutor,” or they place their
analysis of the evidence in the place of the evidence itself. I also find that students
still want to make arguments that are beyond the scope of the evidence they
present. Indeed, they struggle to figure out what is an appropriate scope. Many
express concern that an argument about a small group of people or about a
single text is not sufficiently powerful to constitute a strong thesis
statement. But this is precisely why this exercise is so helpful! Together we
are able to narrow down a compelling, evidence-driven argument.
exercise is particularly helpful with projects based on independent
ethnographic research, though it has also been helpful with assignments where
the data is drawn from text or other media. For students doing their first
ethnographic projects, it can be challenging to understand that the interviews
they conducted and observations they made are
data. This exercise helps to make that clear.
along with feedback from the professor, helps them to recognize what exactly is evidence, to analyze its
significance, and to use it to support a compelling argument based upon it.
Georgia Hartman is a Postdoctoral Fellow with the University of California Institute for Mexico and the United States (UCMEXUS). She is currently conducting research at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. She previously taught for two years as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Pitzer College and variously as Instructor of Record and Teaching Assistant at UC Irvine and UC San Diego.
Este recurso educativo, también disponible en inglés, involucra a los estudiantes en cursos de antropología cultural de pregrado y posgrado para pensar críticamente sobre una amplia gama de temas como la discapacidad, la medicina, el cuerpo, los sentidos, la ciudadanía y América Latina utilizando fuentes primarias. Usando una narrativa original, videos y preguntas que hacen reflexionar, los estudiantes aprenderán y analizarán la “Caravana de integración en silla de ruedas”, una movilización masiva de bolivianos con discapacidad que se llevó a cabo en Bolivia entre el año 2011-2012. Primeramente, los estudiantes leen la narrativa, “Caravana de silla de ruedas en Bolivia”, en la que Mariaca detalla el profundo papel que jugó el apoyo colectivo cuando los activistas se esforzaron por realizar tareas complementarias y no jerárquicas que hicieron posible su arduo viaje a través de Bolivia. Luego, los estudiantes ven dos videos de dos minutos producidos por los medios que muestran un importante momento en la jornada de la Caravana que culminó en una plaza pública en Santa Cruz, donde los activistas expusieron sus cuerpos para ganar visibilidad para exigir y captar la atención sobre el sacrificio de la lucha por la igualdad de derechos que estaba invisible y a menudo no dan la importancia necesaria. El primer video de los medios, “Caravana entrevista activista”, creado por ATB Digital, proporciona comentarios de un periodista y una entrevista con una activista. En el segundo video de Viva, “Caravana entrevista pública”, las imágenes y las entrevistas muestran las reacciones del público. Finalmente, los estudiantes pueden escribir o discutir activamente sus respuestas a las preguntas proporcionadas por este recurso. En suma, esta actividad multimodal ofrece a los estudiantes una oportunidad única para analizar críticamente estas fuentes primarias a medida que los estudiantes exploran comparativamente cómo los activistas, los medios de comunicación y el público interpretan de manera diferente el significado de la Caravana de integración en silla de ruedas.
Caravana de silla de ruedas en Bolivia de Carlos Mariaca Álvarez
Por 100 días, desde el 15 de noviembre del 2011 al 26 de febrero del 2012, las Personas con Discapacidad (Pcd) en Bolivia realizaron una histórica movilización en silla de ruedas, recorrieron 1520 km. a través de 5 Departamentos de Bolivia, desde el Departamento del Tridad, Bení hasta La Paz, ciudad sede de gobierno. “La Caravana de integración en silla de ruedas” liderizada por los dirigentes de la Confederación Boliviana de la Persona con Discapacidad (COBOPDI) junto a los dirigentes de las Federaciones departamentales (FEDEPDIS), tenían el objetivo de reivindicar los derechos de las Pcd, proponiendo el Proyecto de Ley “Trato preferente para las Pcd” que mejore la calidad de vida de este sector social y les otorgue un bono anual de 3600 bs. Además se exigía la creación de albergues integrales comunitarios, para quienes no tienen familias y vagan huérfanos por la vida en condiciones de extrema pobreza.
La Caravana de la integración iba por la carretera, exponiéndose a las condiciones climáticas y a los peligros del tránsito vehicular, contando sólo con el apoyo de la ciudadanía Boliviana. Los acompañaban algunos de sus familiares y otros, que junto a sus hijos se sumaron voluntaria y solidariamente, para empujar las sillas de ruedas, preparar la comida, lavar la ropa y ayudarlos en la higiene personal. En un acuerdo mutuo con el Líder Carlos Mariaca Álvarez y los dirigentes, se tenía la responsabilidad de no hacerles faltar desayuno almuerzo y cena, proveerles de todas sus necesidades ya sea zapatos que se destrozaban en el camino y ropa que se recibía de donación. En dos movilidades se transportaba la cocina, utensilios, alimentos, víveres y algunos viejos colchones. La comida era preparada para todos, los niños tenían leche y pañales que se compraban o eran la ayuda enviada de diferentes lugares del país.
La Caravana, al tener muy poca cobertura en los medios de comunicación y no ser atendidos por las autoridades del gobierno, se la denominó “La Marcha Invisible.” Para cambiar esta situación, al llegar a Santa Cruz una cuadra antes de ingresar a la plaza principal, las personas con discapacidad decidieron quitarse la ropa y bajarse de las sillas de ruedas al suelo. Ingresaron a la plaza el 24 de Septiembre arrastrándose por el suelo en un impactante y conmovedor esfuerzo por visibilizar su lucha. Quienes no podían movilizarse eran arrastrados por los voluntarios e incluso ayudo algún periodista y ciudadano de Santa Cruz . Esta impactante acción se hizo en homenaje a los hermanos y las hermanas con Discapacidad que al no tener condiciones adecuadas, se arrastran en sus casas, en las calles o donde viven, para salir de sus rincones, buscar comida o hacer sus necesidades biológicas.
importante vizibilizar esta realidad y que la sociedad los vea como son y que
vean que son esas las condiciones en que tienen que enfrentar la vida, por lo
que exigen que haya en su país igualdad de derechos y oportunidades. Esta movilización
no sólo fue sacrificada, sino muy emotiva porque expusieron realmente el dolor
y la vida difícil y dura de aquellas personas con discapacidad, en una
indefensión e indiferencia total del Estado y del actual gobierno Boliviano. La
sociedad se conmovió, al igual que los medios de prensa y lloraron al
verlos bajo esas condiciones y entendieron el mensaje, que los activistas los
necesitaban para lograr sus objetivos. Los activistas expusieron su mensaje a
los medios, que son seres humanos igual que todos, porque lloran, rien, aman,
cantan y bailan e incluso sienten amor o rabia como cualquier persona
que no tiene discapacidad. No son santos, ni angeles, ni demonios… Son
seres humanos con una o múltiples discapacidades y que su lucha es por amor,
amor a la vida, amor a su familia, amor a vivir aún a pesar de la adversidad y
amor para no renunciar a la posibilidad de una mejor vida íntegra y digna
¿Cómo explicaron los activistas el significado
de esta movilización? ¿Por qué dice Mariaca que era importante para los
activistas lograr visibilidad?
¿Cómo usaron los activistas sus
cuerpos para lograr visibilidad? ¿Por qué crees que usar sus cuerpos de esta manera
¿Cómo movilizaron los activistas de la Caravana la acción colectiva en su viaje y en la plaza de Santa Cruz? ¿Por qué crees que querían hacer visible su acción colectiva?
Compare cómo los activistas, los
medios de comunicación y el público interpretaron la movilización en Santa
Cruz. Explica qué diferencias se destacan.
En Bolivia, las personas con
discapacidades utilizan la terminología de la persona para enfrentar la
deshumanización que experimentan en sus relaciones sociales cotidianas. ¿Cómo
entendemos el impacto de la experiencia de este grupo con la deshumanización en
la narrativa y los videos de Mariaca? ¿Por qué es importante para muchas personas
con discapacidad combatir la deshumanización?
¿Cómo resaltan los miembros de la Caravana las limitaciones de la definición de discapacidad simplemente como un problema médico que requiere tratamiento? ¿Qué otras consideraciones sociales y culturales debemos hacer?
Notas sobre las
Al analizar estos recursos con los estudiantes, también es importante tener en cuenta que “persona discapacitada” es a menudo la terminología preferida en países occidentales como los Estados Unidos. Sin embargo, los bolivianos con discapacidad prefieren el término “persona con discapacidad” porque les permite desafiar mejor la deshumanización que experimentan habitualmente cuando la persona es primero. Estas diferencias matizadas resaltan la importancia de ser culturalmente sensibles a cómo se producen los diferentes significados de la discapacidad a través de las distintas relaciones sociopolíticas que las personas que viven en entornos locales tanto con la historia, la cultura y los modelos globales de discapacidad. Adicionalmente, en la narrativa de Mariaca lo vemos usar el término, “la movilización”, que se puede traducir aproximadamente a demonstration en inglés. Sin embargo, decidimos utilizar la traducción directa, mobilization, ya que subraya las afirmaciones de los activistas de la movilidad social, política y espacial en la Caravana.
recurso fue creado en colaboración de Carlos Mariaca Álvarez y Megan Neal.
Mariaca Álvarez, quien ayudó a liderar la protesta de la Caravana, selecciono
los videos y escribió la narrativa “Caravana en silla de ruedas en Bolivia”.
Mariaca Álvarez, quien tiene una discapacidad física (Triplegia, 75%), se
desempeñó como Líder Histórico Nacional de la Confederación Boliviana de
Personas con Discapacidades (COBOPDI) de 2002 a 2012 además, fundó el
Movimiento Social Inclusivo (MSI) y la Sociedad Emergente de Bolivia (SEMBOL).
Marica también es profesor autodidacta y escritor de Filosofía Oriental y
Megan Neal, antropóloga y candidata al doctorado de la Universidad de California en Irvine que estudia la discapacidad en Bolivia, fue quien haciendo uso de preguntas de los estudiantes y transcripciones de videos escribió la guía pedagógica. Su investigación examina cómo los ciudadanos con discapacidades en La Paz, Bolivia, desafían la comprensión normativa del desarrollo, los sentidos y la participación política. También se desempeña como productora de contenido web para el sitio web de la revista Teaching and Learning Anthropology Journal.
This educational resource, also available in Spanish, enables students in undergraduate and graduate cultural anthropology courses to analyze the “Wheelchair Caravan of Integration,” a mass mobilization by Bolivians with disabilities that took place across Bolivia from 2011 to 2012. As they progress through this activity, students will also learn how to think holistically and critically about a wide-range of topics like disability, medicine, the body, the senses, citizenship, and Latin America utilizing primary sources. First students read the original narrative, “Wheelchair Caravan in Bolivia,” in which Carlos Mariaca, a Bolivian activist with disability who led the march, details the profound role collective support played as the activists strove to perform the complementary, non-hierarchical duties that made their arduous journey across Bolivia possible. Next, students watch two-minute videos produced by the Bolivian media that show an important moment in the caravan journey when activists, frustrated that their mobilization was not receiving necessary public attention, got out of their wheelchairs at a public plaza in Santa Cruz and utilized their bodies to gain visibility for the sacrifices they made in their struggle for equal rights and to demand a financial benefit from the national government. The first media video, “Caravan Interview Activist,” created by ATB Digital, provides commentary by a journalist and an interview with an activist. In the second video by Viva, “Caravan Interview Public,” footage and interviews show the public’s reactions. Finally, students can write or actively discuss their responses to the questions offered in this resource. In sum, this multi-modal activity offers students a unique opportunity to critically analyze primary sources as they comparatively explore how the Bolivian activists, media, and public differentially interpret the Wheelchair Caravan of Integration’s significance.
Wheelchair Caravan in Bolivia by Carlos Mariaca
In 100 days, from November 15th, 2011 to February 26th, 2012, people with disabilities (PWD) in Bolivia achieved a historic mobilization in wheelchairs, traveling 1520 kilometers from Trinidad, Bení through five Departments of Bolivia to La Paz, the seat of government. “The Wheelchair Caravan of Integration,” led by the leaders of the Bolivian Confederation of Persons with Disabilities (COBOPDI), together with the leaders of the Departmental Federations (FEDEPDIS), had the objective of claiming rights for PWD by proposing a new law, “Preferential Treatment for PWD,” to improve the quality of life for this social sector and grant an annual benefit of 3600 Bolivianos or 521 U.S. dollars. They also demanded the creation of community shelters for people who do not have families and must wander as orphans through life in extreme poverty.
The Wheelchair Caravan of Integration was on
the road, exposing itself to the climatic conditions and the dangers of
vehicular traffic, counting only on the support of Bolivian citizens. They were
accompanied by some of their relatives and other Trinitarians who, together
with their children, joined the demonstration in solidarity, to push
wheelchairs, prepare food, wash clothes and help them with personal hygiene
tasks. In mutual agreement with the caravan’s leadership, it was their
responsibility to ensure they did not miss breakfast, lunch, and dinner and
provide for all of their needs, whether it was repairing and replacing shoes
that fell apart on the road or distributing clothes that were received as
donations. Two cars transported the portable kitchen, food, rations, sleeping
bags, and old mattresses. The food that supporters prepared was for everyone.
The children who accompanied them were supplied with milk and diapers that were
either purchased or donated from different parts of the country. The caravan, which had received very little coverage in the media and was ignored by government authorities, became known as “The Invisible March.” A block before entering the main square, people with disabilities decided to change this situation so they took off their clothes, got out of their wheelchairs, and onto the ground. They entered the 24 de Septiembre Plaza, crawling on the ground in a shocking and moving effort to make their struggle visible. Those who could not mobilize were dragged by volunteers or supporters, even a journalist from Santa Cruz helped. This impressive action was made in homage to the brothers and sisters with disabilities who do not have adequate conditions, must crawl in their homes, in the streets or where they live, to leave their corners, look for food or perform their basic biological needs.
It was important to make this reality visible to the public so they see them as they are and witness the conditions in which they have to face life and hear their demand for equal rights in their country. Not only was this mobilization a sacrifice, it was very emotional because they exposed the painful and difficult lives of those with disabilities, who live in total defenselessness to indifference of the State and the current Bolivian government. The public as well as the media were moved, openly weeping at the sight of this outward display of true suffering. They understood the message, the activists needed them to achieve their goals. The activists exposed their message to the media, so people could learn to see that people with disabilities in Bolivia are just like everyone else. They laugh, cry, love, sing, dance, and get angry like any person who does not have a disability. They are not saints, or angels, or demons; they are human beings with one or multiple disabilities and that their struggle is for love, love for life, love for their family, love to live even in spite of adversity and love so as not to renounce the possibility of a better and dignified life in Bolivia.
Questions for Students How did the activists explain the meaning of this mobilization? Why does Mariaca Alvarez say that it was important for the activists to achieve visibility?
How did the activists use their bodies to achieve visibility? Why do you think using their bodies in this way worked?
How did the caravan activists mobilize collective action
in both their journey and at the plaza in Santa Cruz? Why do you think they
wanted to make their collective action visible?
Compare how the activists, media, and public interpreted the mobilization in Santa Cruz. Explain what differences stand out to you.
In Bolivia, people with disabilities use person-first terminology to confront the dehumanization they experience in their everyday social relationships. How do we understand the impact of this group’s experience with dehumanization in Mariaca’s narrative and the videos? Why is it important for many people with disabilities to combat dehumanization?
How do members of the caravan highlight the limitations of defining disability simply as a medical problem that requires treatment? What other social and cultural considerations should we make?
When analyzing these resources with students, it is important to note that while “disabled person” is often the preferred terminology for activists in Western countries like the United States, Bolivian activists with disabilities prefer the term “person with disability.” They assert that the person-first expression enables them to better challenge the dehumanization they routinely experience. Additionally, in Mariaca Alvarez’s narrative, we see him use the term, la movilización, which can be roughly translated into “demonstration” in English. However, we decided to use the direct translation, “mobilization,” as it underlines the claims to social, political, and spatial mobility activists in the caravan have been making. These nuanced differences highlight the importance of being culturally sensitive to how different meanings of disability are produced through the distinct sociopolitical relationships people living in local environments have with history, culture, and global disability models.
Carlos Mariaca Alvarez, who helped lead the Caravan protest, curated the videos and authored the original narrative, “Wheelchair Caravan in Bolivia.” Mariaca, who has physical disability (Triplegia, 75%), served as the National Historic Leader of the Bolivian Confederation of People with Disabilities (COBOPDI) from 2002 to 2012, and founded the Inclusive Social Movement (MSI) and Emerging Society Bolivia (SEMBOL). Marica is also a self-taught lecturer and writer of Oriental Philosophy and Esoteric Psychology.
Megan Neal wrote the pedagogical guide, student questions, video transcripts, and translations. Neal is currently a PhD candidate at the University of California, Irvine. Her research examines how citizens with disabilities in La Paz, Bolivia challenge normative understandings of development, the senses, and political participation. She also serves as the Web Content Producer for the Teaching and Learning Anthropology Journal’s Website.
The Pinery stage station, a historic resource of Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Photo credit: National Park Service.
By: Rochelle Bloom
The article, A Critique of Unfeeling Heritage, by Denis Byrne, is a useful text to introduce holistic approaches to archaeology. It is particularly well suited for students in an applied archaeology program who are considering a career in cultural resource management (CRM) and might not have a solid background in cultural anthropology or intangible heritage values. The article highlights the tendency of archaeologists, particularly those working in CRM, to privilege large-scale inventorying of sites and focus upon the “technologies and economics of the past” at the expense of the behaviors of the humans who created the sites. Though archaeology is, by definition, the study of material culture, this article helps to articulate the risks inherent in ignoring the social values communities attribute to sites.
The author illustrates the necessity for consideration of past and present social context through discussion of how communities relate to Cold War-era mass grave sites in Indonesia and massacre sites in other areas, particularly in instances where material evidence of past events is not visible in the landscape and specific locations have not been recorded. The article proposes an approach to archaeology in which artifacts are used as an avenue to explore the lives of associated individuals, rather than allowing for recordation and salvage of material as an end in itself. Although the article does not seek to develop a comprehensive methodology for a “feeling” archaeology, it does provide an excellent foundation for reflecting on some of the limitations of a purely tangible approach to the discipline.
A useful way to incorporate this article into the curriculum would be in a discussion of the potential issues that prevent best practice archaeology in CRM. It might be helpful to explore the pressures of projects,such as limited time and money, and how they affect the quality of work and goals for CRM projects. You may demonstrate how the investigation of past and present social context can be incorporated practically into fieldwork. For instance, in addition to discussing survey,excavation, and recording methodologies, you may wish to introduce some of the methods by which it is possible to obtain knowledge of human behavior, even with the prescribed limitations dictated by CRM. A useful exercise with students might be to provide examples of reports that are typical of more traditional environmental impact assessments and ask them to provide critiques and recommendations for more holistic studies.
Byrne, Denis. 2009. “A Critique of Unfeeling Heritage.” In Intangible Heritage, edited by Laurajane Smith and Natsuko Akagawa, 229-252. London and New York: Routledge.
As of 10/23/2018 the article is available for free through Marquette University.
Resource Contributed By:Rochelle Bloomis, Portland State University
Rochelle Bloom is an anthropology research assistant contracted to Portland State and working as a collaborator with the National Park Service. She assists with identification of ethnographic resources on federal lands.
Students just beginning their undergraduate education may not have a strong grasp of the distinction between description and analysis and what that looks like in anthropological work. If they’re just beginning to be introduced to anthropology and/or other social sciences, this may be especially so. In order to facilitate the growth of students’ abilities to conduct anthropological analysis, gain a better understanding of how description and analysis relate to each other, and see how anthropological concepts and theories can become useful tools, I have assigned Introduction to Sociocultural Anthropology students what I call an annotated essay.
With this assignment, students carry out participant observation in a public space. Afterwards, they use their field notes to compose an essay describing their experience. I ask students to write their essay in a formal organized style (i.e. aiming for strong macro, meso, and micro organization, clear topic sentences, etc.) but to focus on describing their experience/what they observed. After writing this essay, the students then must annotate their own writing. With each annotation they must identify a concept or theory introduced in the course that their observation relates to. They must explain how the concept relates or detail why their observation is an example of that concept, as well as provide a formal definition of the concept (you can also require citations if that is a desired learning outcome of your course/the assignment). Carrying out this conceptual work as annotations separates and makes distinct basic analytical skills–a distinction that can be pointed out to students to help them identify how analysis differs from description. This assignment can function well as a precursor to an assignment later in the term in which students will be expected to write into a way that integrates analysis into the main body of their compositions.
Skills and learning objectives: de/familiarization, semi-structured field observation, taking and organizing field notes, applying anthropological concepts and perspectives to data gathering in order to gain experience in how anthropologists “code” observational data.
This could be done as an ongoing “observation journal” in which students write field notes numerous times throughout the academic term (e.g. weekly or biweekly) and annotate with concepts as they are introduced in the course.
If you are leading discussion sections and are not in a position to create/choose formal assignments for your students, you could modify this to be on a smaller scale or ask students to analytically annotate news articles, media, etc.
See the following text for an example of how this assignment has been presented to students:
First, spend 30-60 minutes in a publicly accessible location (a space that is available to you as a member of the public, student, or worker, not one that is private, proprietary, or requires special permissions to be in and report about). This space can be an everyday place, or a site where a particular event or gathering is taking place. Direct your attention to observing the space and the people, beings, and things around you. As you observe, take down notes of all you see and notice.While recording everything you observe, try to identify what things you might usually take for granted. If you’re in a familiar space, challenge yourself to make the familiar strange, in other words, to write about things you take for granted as something culturally produced and not necessarily “right” or”natural” or “common sense.” If you’re in an unfamiliar setting,try to make sense of what is going on in terms of those who belong to it–that is, try to make the strange familiar. Write down descriptions that don’t assume you know what something is or why something is done a particular way. Also, using our course concepts, feel free to include speculations in your notes.
Take into the field a notebook, writing instrument, and phone for pix or video if you want (not required). Take also a mental “checklist” of socio-cultural features that we know, from our work in class, that can be observed in human social spaces. This list includes but is not limited to: language/gesture, sights and sound, ideologies, ways relations are structured or enacted, relational activities (human and non-human),how material cultural objects are part of or excluded from the space, rituals and performances, gendered signs and processes, racialized spatializations,social inclusions or exclusions, sexism, racism. Combine walking around and using defamiliarization and semi-structured observation (as we will discuss in class) to immerse in the space. Take detailed notes while you are doing this or wait until you are finished and write down your experience right away so you don’t forget. Write down everything you see, hear,feel, smell, taste, and or perceive in any other way. We’ll talk about strategies in class!
The final product for this assignment should be 4-6 pages of typed (double spaced) field note-based description and footnoted annotations. Minimum 1500 words (including footnotes/endnotes).
Here are instructions and requirements:
Write up your field notes into a clear, cogent description. Although this is not a formal essay with a thesis or argument, you must title your essay, use standard good writing skills, and organize description through logically flowing paragraphs.
Read over your description and use the colored highlighter function to highlight phrases or sentences that relate to concepts or processes we’ve studied in class.
Then annotate your highlighted parts, here’s how: Use the footnote function to put a footnote after those highlighted phrases or sentences. In those footnotes,relate what you observed and highlighted to a concept or process we have discussed in class. Explain what that anthropological concept or process is,then offer your own analysis or speculation of what is going on. You do not have to do a bibliography referencing the concepts or lectures, because the purpose of this is to show how you can observe and identify examples of what we’ve been exploring. You can go ahead and speculate to – use educated guesses when you can. Some of your footnotes will point to things that require that you reference multiple concepts and processes, this is just fine and indicates how social life is anthropologically complex. You must provide a minimum of 10 annotations, but see how many anthropological concepts and processes you can discover and point out!
Skills and learning objectives: In this assignment you will practice de/familiarization, semi-structured field observation, taking and organizing field notes, applying anthropological concepts and perspectives to data gathering in order to gain experience in how anthropologists”code” observational data.
Resource Contributed by:Danica Loucks, University of California, Irvine
Danica Loucks is a PhD student at the University of California, Irvine. Her dissertation research examines how different stakeholders understand public lands in the U.S., considering how differing ways of knowing landscapes, contrasting ideologies about land and property, and competing historical narratives (as well as understandings of how history matters) shape contemporary public lands conflict. Danica is a Pedagogical Fellow through UCI’s Division of Teaching Excellence and Innovation and is currently conducting research regarding how students develop anthropological analytical skills.