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Lecture 4

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Communication Studies
Baxter Moore

COMM2P20 Lecture4 October3rd,2012 IntroductiontoEthnographicResearch - See outline in Course Package - Ethnographic research (ethnography = “writing culture”) - Observation - Why observe? - Max Weber, “verstehen” = understanding or “seeing through the eyes of” - Attempt to understand the meaning of actions and events from the point of view of the participants - Need first to understand values, rules and roles in particular culture - Why all the fuss about this? You have to understand the nuances of particular cultures in order to understand what is going on in a particular scenario. - The head butt in soccer - you have to know a little bit about the rules of the soccer game in order to understand what is going on in the clip. & the values and the roles that guide that culture AND the individual participants - What to observe? - Analyzing observations - To understand a culture “from the inside” even though we as the researchers are outside that culture - We can observe as a total outsider (sometimes we don’t even have to be present to observe - we can use film) - But usually we want to observe in person - because observation means using all of your senses - Becoming a participant is often a good thing ResearchingAssignment2 - Conduct advanced research (and perhaps more after the event) - Conduct observation - Are you going to be a fly on the wall or are you going to participate - Are you going to be disguised? Or are you going to take notes in public, etc - How many years has this event been going on? Is it the biggest one yet? Etc - Interpret what you have seen/ heard/ tasted - Were these events originally celebrating something (like bringing in the grape harvest) or are they commercialized now? - Reservations: is there anything that may limit your interpretations - Then write up what you have observed (what?) - Interpret field notes (so what?) - Support your interpretation of field notes with other material gathered - Write first draft of the assignment - Let us know what your position is (whether you are an observer or an observer participant) - Why are we doing this study? What is the purpose of it - Conclusion that revisits thesis statement in light of observations, interpretations and reservations *Make reference to Berger in paper BritishCulturalStudies-StoreyChapter3 Storey(ch3) outlines key contributions made to British cultural studies approached by: 1. Richard Hoggart 2. Raymond Williams 3. E.P. Thompson 4. Stuart Hall & Paddy Whannell FromCulturalismtoCCCS - These writers paved the way for the emergence of a distinctly “British” approach to cultural studies and the study of popular culture - Typified by the research and writing conducted at the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCCS) at the University of Birmingham in the English “midlands” RichardHoggart was founding director of the CCCS: - His own early work owed something to the Leavisites and the culture and civilization tradition - Education is the way to improve society - with proper education in great works (exposure to Shakespeare) - will produce a more literate and productive working / popular class - One big difference between Hoggart and Elitists’ is that he is actually observing the working class - he is not saying that popular culture in general is inferior to high culture, but the culture we are getting now is inferior to the old culture (the way that their parents lived their lives) - But there are certain important differences HoggardandWilliams - Hoggart, like Leavises, concerned by decline of popular culture in the face of mass, Americanized, culture; - He is comparing working class culture - But his “golden age” is working class culture of the 1930s, not fold culture of the 18th century - that is what’s being destroyed by this mass, Americanized, culture - Williams criticizes Hoggart for staying too close to Leavisite methods and assumptions (“enlightened minority, degraded mass”) - And is careful to distinguish between production and consumption of cultural goods - The meaning that people attach to the cultural goods that they consume, may rise above that commercial imparody - Williams insists on culture as “the lived experience of ‘ordinary’ men and women” (Storey, 48) EmphasisonCulture‘of’thePeople - E.P. Thompson’s approach to history, also focuses on the everyday lived experiences of ordinary people (see quotation in Storey, p 50-51) - Thompson views the working class as important
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