The topic is Identity
Research Steps – How you will get the information to write the paper.
1. Identify a food phenomenon and a population to observe.
2. Arrange an experience (or set of experiences) with them. Methods can include observation, participant-observation, interviews, a survey, etc. This will take brainstorming and planning in advance.
3. Take field notes during your experience.
4. Sift through your field notes for themes. Look for themes that relate to the topic of the paper (i.e. identity, health, ethics).
5. Write your paper using those themes and your notes as your data.
Writing Guidelines – How you will present the data you gathered.
1. Describe the setting and context (Page 1)
— Describe how you found the people and food phenomenon you observed.
— Are they part of a larger group? (For example, students in a club at a university).
— Example: “The line at the coffee shop backs up to the door this weekday morning. Businessmen, university students, and office workers wait patiently (or not) to place their orders. I am seated at one of the small tables, checking my email through the shop’s free WiFi and drinking a delicious latté…” (Tucker)
2. Your reflexive position (Page 2)
— Discuss your position in relation to the people and food phenomenon.
— Are you a insider or an outsider? Do you know the social rules or not? Are you familiar with this context?
— Example: “My father was a cook. One of my sisters corrected me for years, insisting that he was a restaurateur. But I know that he was a cook. Only by the oddest of routes—the sort people made rootless by circumstance must sometimes take—did he arrive at cooking for a living…” (Mintz)
3. Analysis (Pages 3 and 4)
— Describe the events and people you observed – how often and how long were your observations?
— Describe how you observed (participant-observation, interviews, survey, etc.)
— Describe the themes you found in your field notes and give examples that demonstrate each theme.
— You can bring in readings or lecture materials from class – this is not required, but if you do, please cite sources that you quote or paraphrase.
— Example: “Everyone I talked to at the tailgate mentioned that the football tailgating absolutely required some amount of beer. ‘It isn’t a game without beer,’ John told me. This theme also came up when I noticed the number of beer cans piled up around the trashcans on the mall. One overflowing trash can sat next to an equally overflowing recycling container.” (made up example, the theme is underlined and the example/data is in italics)
4. Conclusion (Page 5)
— What did you learn by observing these people and this food phenomenon?
— What does this project tell us about humans and foodways in general?
— Consider the implications if you were to do a much longer version of this study.
— Example: “Holocaust survivor groups can be an excellent project for an anthropologist to embark on (as revealed in Kidron’s study). Since there are many of these types of research sites here, in Israel and in Europe, it would be fairly easy to establish rapport with the members of the group and their leaders although as we saw in the case of the House of Being, Tsipi was indeed quite a gatekeeper figure and gaining her trust must have been difficult.… Studying practices of helping survivors deal with memory issues within a religious ethnic community would make excellent comparative research…” (from example student paper that is not about food)
See writing guidelines above for a description of each category and examples.
10 points = Formatting requirements (page minimum, spacing, margins, font, references)
20 points = Setting and context
10 points = Reflexive position
30 points = Original observation of living people in real time: you observed people and took
20 points = Analysis: you sifted out themes to analyze your field notes
10 points = Conclusion
Total = 100 points
5 pages minimum (please, no more than 5.5 pages)
1-inch margins on all sides
11 or 12 point font, Times New Roman
For references, please choose a style (e.g. Chicago, MLA) and be consistent.
No need to break your paper up into sections with sub-headlines.
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