Exercise 2: The Ethnography
Ethnography is a genre of writing that uses fieldwork and observations to provide a descriptive study of human societies. In this instance, your ethnography will help you seeyour issues at work in the real world.
Directions: Go somewhere you might see the issues you are working with in action and gather observations. Choose a setting where you can observe for at least an hour, for example: the mall, a beauty store, Starbucks, a car dealership, a sports store, and so on. Basically, a good plan would be to go somewhere the product in your ad (or similar products) is being sold. Write down your observations. What do the displays look like? How do people react to the products? Try to be objective as you look for examples of the ideas you’ve been working with in the real world. Can you see the needs, desires, and stereotypes that ads take advantage of revealed in people’s actions? Think about how your visual text connects with social issues. Do you see examples of the issues you are writing about in the real world? If not, why might this be? Be sure to bring a notepad and take notes. After you describe what you saw, write about the connections between your real-world observations with the ideas you are developing for your essay.
Please Note: You are allowed to interview people and ask them about the products, ads, and issues you are working with. Phrase your questions carefully, and make sure you let them know this is a project for school.
Requirements: Your ethnography should be about 600 words (about 2 pages double spaced) and correctly formatted
Alternative Option for Progression 2: Social Issues in Art or Political Ads
If you would rather, you can analyze the social issues at work in a piece of art or political ads instead of ads that sells something. Consider what social and political rhetoric (arguments) and what values/assumptions of society/voters the art or ads take advantages of. You must use political ads from within the past 5 years and works of art from within the last 25-30 years.
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