2/24 Class Log: First Half of Class

Adam Russell

2/24 Class Log: 6:00-7:30


First on the agenda:

Navigating the website: Professor De Vries stressed the importance of e-mailing her with any questions and concerns. (kdevries@csustan.edu)


In regard to the website, we discussed signing up as an author and applying the appropriate tag.


Tina Bell “The Minimalist” Focused her log on the varying perspectives of the most photographed barn in America.


Back to the website:

Professor De Vries clarified the log and the purpose thereof.


To answer questions about the website, she projected it onto the big screen, guided the students through its fundamental structure and added a tag to Adam’s commentary to show the proper method of posting.


Troubleshot through the rudiments of the website and answered various “nuts and bolts” questions.


Amble takes the stage:

Lead the discussion about the still life object we observed and the nature of subjectivity vs. objectivity in relation to perspectives.


In ethnographic research, it’s impossible to be completely objective; all one can do is implement tools that keeps the researcher as objective as possible.


For example, note taking forces the researcher to focus on the concrete details and stay on track with the purpose of the observation.


Margaret Mead:

Coming of Age in Samoa (1928): influential work that set the standard for ethnographic research; redefined notions of adolescent development and sexuality in a cultural context.



According to Wikipedia Autoethnography is a form of autobiographical personal narrative that explores the writer’s experience of life. It differs fundamentally from ethnography–a qualitative research method in which a researcher uses participant observation and interviews in order to gain a deeper understanding of a group’s culture–in that authoethnography focuses on the writer’s subjective experience rather than the beliefs and practices of others” (“Autoethnography,” par. 1).


One last thing before break:

The class used their understanding of autoethnography to question the ethics behind conducting proper ethnography in relation to the role of the researcher.


Sometimes the role of the researcher, “in relation to the line between observer and participant” (De Vries)  poses ethical questions as to how far one can go to obtain objective material.


Ended the discussion with the definition of a journalist in contrast to the ethnographer.

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