Focusing Assignments

Write up each of the following in 2-3 pages (3-4 pages for #5 & #6).  We’ll use them as discussion-starters in class.

  1. What 4 lessons did you learn from Hagaman? What agreed with you?  What didn’t?  Why?
    Advanced students: See if you can spot the point at which her own work moves from ethnography to art.  What differences do you see between the two?  (An additional page max.)
  2. SOAN students: Locate some examples from the ethnographies you have read for your other classes of the issues raised in today’s readings.  Summarize the techniques those ethnographies use to portray others.
    MVC students
    : What does your discipline say about how to represent others?  How do its issues connect (or not) with those in the readings?
  3. Visual ethnography has two sides: the objective side and the subjective side.  The first shows people’s behavior – often behavior of which they are unaware.  The second presents peoples internal ideas about what they are doing.  How do today’s articles demonstrate one or the other (or both) of these aspects of ethnographic work?
  4. Compare some early issues of National Geographic with some more recent issues – ideally picking an issue from each of the last 5 decades.  Note at least 4-6 ways that the magazine has changed over the years.
    (The Armacost library has copies going back to 1959; I have more recent issues that you can borrow.) 
  5.  Locate photos from back issues of National Geographic that illustrate – or contradict – the claims made in Lutz and Collins’ chapters on NG aesthetics.
    (Photocopy, scan, or photograph the images, so you can share them with the class.)
  6. SOAN students: Identify 3-4 ethnographic case studies (books or articles) – from your reading for your other sociology and anthropology courses – that raise issues treated in today’s PK&B chapters.  List these on a sheet of paper and write a long paragraph for each about how the issues are raised.   Be ready to share your answers with the class.
    MVC students:
    How has your discipline framed similar issues?  List these on a sheet of paper and write a long paragraph for each about how the issues are raised.  Be ready to share your answers with the class
  7. Write 2-3 pages about a social situation you experienced that shocked or horrified you, yet seemed normal to others.  What did you find difficult or off-putting?  How, specifically, did your emotional reactions color your interpretation of the event?  What would it have taken for you to understand the event from the other participants’ point of view?
  8. Locate 3 good articles on Disneyland in reputable (scholarly) social science or critical media journals.  Read those articles and summarize each of them in a long paragraph (250-300 words).  Add 2-3 sentences explaining why the articles are good ones.
    Bring enough copies of your summaries to class to distribute to the other students (plus one for the course leader).
  9. Prepare a short paper (500-750 words) applying Young’s and MacDougall’s insights to some of the films we’ve seen (in class and as part of the Film Festival).  Add insights from Spickard and Nelson where possible.