Ethnography Review

Thinking about key concepts from the class, your previous assignments, and the issues and themes that came up during and after your walking observation, put together a list of as many potential keywords as you can think of, including “ethnography,” “anthropology,” “New York City,” and the names of your neighborhood and the borough it’s located in. Using the Internet and the resources available through the CUNY Library System, search for different keyword variations and combinations (for example: housing AND gentrification AND williamsburg AND brooklyn). Be creative/imaginative in your keyword searches.

Find one article from a scholarly source (peer-reviewed journals and/or chapters of academic books) that studies your neighborhood from an ethnographic point of view. If you can’t find anything ethnographic, try searching without the word “ethnography” and see what you find (anything broadly sociological would be fine). If you can’t find anything about your neighborhood (don’t give up right away, try different key words and/or combinations), try nearby areas and/or the larger borough.

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Write a 1000-word review (not a summary!) in which you identify (please do not number your answers, just write an essay in which you take them all into account):

The major beliefs/ideas, behavior/practices, artifacts, and symbols discussed by the author, and the community or group(s) they correspond to;
Urban processes and any other key concepts discussed in our earlier class readings and/or lectures that are relevant to the study (whether or not the author uses the same specific words);
Specific ethnographic methods and techniques used in the study, if mentioned;
The specific field site(s) (any particular places in the neighborhood mentioned?) and any participants mentioned;
The main idea(s) in the author’s analysis/interpretation of the neighborhood;
Anything that you can connect to your own observations from the previous assignments (Mapping Exercise and Photo Essay), or that helps you better understand what you observed.

Make sure you cite the article you are reviewing, as well as at least two readings and/or films from our class (don’t forget to include both in-text citations and a Reference List at the end). If you would like to use a key concept from a lecture that doesn’t appear in one of the readings, ask me (via email), and I will try to provide a source.



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