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Discussion Posts


Evaluation Rubric

DISCUSSION POST #1 DUE 2/10 

Read “A Report from Occupied Territory” by James Baldwin

Write a short response (250-500 words) to Baldwin’s essay that addresses the following questions: 

  •  What cultural information (shared beliefs, rules/rituals, behaviors, insider language, etc.) does the article include?
  • What kind of questions might a fieldworker ask to further uncover the culture the article describes?
  • What other sources of information might a fieldworker use to penetrate the insider perspective? 

DISCUSSION POST #2 DUE 2/26

Read “The Hustlers at Scores” by  Jessica Pressler

Write a short response (250-500 words)  to Pressler’s profile that addresses the following questions:

  • What cultural information (shared belies, rules/rituals, behaviors, insider language, etc.) does the article include?
  • How was the background information chosen helpful in understanding the story? 
  • How did she describe her informants to make them come to life?

DISCUSSION POST #3 DUE 3/11 

Choose a public place (park, restaurant, church, coffee shop, etc.) to conduct a non-participant observation. Plan to spend at least one hour observing and taking notes. Record as many details, informational and personal, as you can about what you experience. Write a brief summary (250-500 words) of what you observe noting any patterns or themes. 

DISCUSSION POST #4 DUE 3/18

Brainstorm a list of all the privileges you have.

  • Includes those that you enjoy through your own efforts — for example, an educational scholarship that you have thanks to your hard work and good grades. 
  • Also include privileges that require little to no effort on your part — for example, about being born into a middle-class family or having American citizenship. 

Write a short reflection (250-500 words) on how these privileges might affect your field research.

    • Some areas to think and write reflectively about are: age, nationality, gender, skin color, race, or ethnicity, education level or opportunities, social and or financial support, freedom of religion or of speech or freedom to travel, socioeconomic status, etc.
    • Questions to consider:
      • What are your reasons for choosing your particular online community?
      • Which of your own fixed positions (personal facts) may affect what you see/notice?
      • What subjective positions (life history and personal experience) do you carry into your research? ·    

DISCUSSION POST #5 DUE 5/6 

Write a short reflection (250-500 words) on your approach to writing. Questions to consider: 

  • How do you prepare for written assignments/tasks? 
  • What do you need to know before you begin? 
  • What do you learn as you go through the process?
  •  How has this process changed (or not changed) over the course of the semester?
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