This short project involves developing observational skills as a field researcher. Spend some time (in two, distinct 10-minute observation periods) observing social life and taking field notes (you can keep your notes on a mobile device or in a notebook).
This short project involves developing observational skills as a field researcher.
For this purpose, you will:
1) spend some time (in two, distinct 10-minute observation periods) observing social life and taking field notes (you can keep your notes on a mobile device or in a notebook).
2) write up a 1-page analysis of what you have observed using your sociological imagination (if you aren’t sure what this means, refer back to content from the first week of class).
Setting: The Seattle Pike Place Fish Market.
You can gain visual access to this setting between the daily working hours of 7am-5:30pm PST here:
https://www.pikeplacefish.com/about (Links to an external site.)
Scroll down to the bottom of the page, and open the livecam on the left-hand side to begin each 10-minute observation.
You may also visit the market in person to complete these observations.
What you will submit for the assignment
A 3+ page document, consisting of:
At least one full page of field notes for each 10-minute observation (worth 3 points each)
At least one full page of sociological analysis based on your notes (4 points)
Guide for Observing:
Examine the activity and any repeated or ritual behavior with fresh eyes, as if you have never seen a setting like this before. Who is there? What kinds of rules do people seem to follow? What happens if someone appears to break one of these rules? Do you observe people interacting who seem to take on different roles?
Take notes that allow you to “show,” not “tell.” Jot down these details so that your readers can visualize the scene.
Can you observe anything about the gender, race, age, or social-class dynamics at play in this setting?
How does this exercise affect you? Does taking notes make you feel different than you think you would if you were just “there?”
Guide for Analysis:
First paragraph: Give a 3-5 sentence summary of what you observed.
Additional paragraphs : What general themes or pattern(s) did you observe? Provide specific examples from your reported field notes that illustrate these.
Final paragraph: What strengths or weaknesses did you perceive with visual ethnography as your research method? What questions would you have wanted to ask people if you were interviewing them about the setting or what you were observing?
Do you have what it takes to be a field researcher? Many people think that all you need is a good eye and the ability to take good notes. While those skills are certainly important, there is much more to being successful in this career. In order to develop observational skills, you must first understand what they are and why they are important. In this blog post, we will discuss the definition of observational skills and how they can help you in your field research career!
Observational skills are the ability to take note of important details in your surroundings. This includes both visual and auditory cues. As a field researcher, it is important to be able to observe your subjects in order to collect accurate data. Often times, you will only have one chance to observe a particular event or behavior. Therefore, it is critical that you are able to take note of as many details as possible.
There are several ways that you can improve your observational skills. First, try to practice observing different people and events in your everyday life. Pay attention to the small details that others might miss. For example, notice the way someone holds their body when they are talking or the expressions on their face. Also, try to practice taking notes quickly and accurately. The more you practice, the better you will become at observing and recording important information.
Another way to improve your observational skills is to attend training workshops or seminars. These can be very helpful in teaching you how to properly observe people and events. Often times, they will also provide tips on how to take better notes. If you are serious about becoming a successful field researcher, then attending one of these workshops is a great investment!
Finally, don’t forget that practice makes perfect. The more you observe people and events, the better your observational skills will become. So get out there and start practicing! With a little effort, you can develop the observational skills that you need to succeed in this field.