Anthro Intro Essay

Submitted By Bryan-Ribao
Words: 1127
Pages: 5

INTRO: For many years, most of human society has been holding onto their way of life. However, many individuals definitely have their own perspective, point of view and opinion about all sort of things, for instance, what’s happening around them every day. To add, we tend to judge the book by its cover, which leads to misunderstandings, prejudice and hatred that can easily cause impact on the society. In this case, we will be talking about a group of GROUP STUDIED: Street Kids who are scattered around LOCATION: the East Village neighborhood of New York City and in which the author took it upon herself as an anthropologist to study their life style by using ethnography methods as she mentioned in the book. WHEN WAS THE FIELDWORK CARRIED OUT: The fieldwork was carried out the moment she found out that Street Kids were considered Gutter Punks. She was also interested in learning alternative youth subculture, so she felt that it would be an opportunity for her. In short, AIM: her aim is to learn in details, the commonality and diversity of their backgrounds, lived experience and life choice by using fieldwork techniques to facilitate a deeper understanding of her research.

FIELDWORK: To begin with, HOW WAS THE FIELDWORK CARRIED OUT: Finkelstein needed to find a way to start her fieldwork and so she decided to start off by observing to familiarize with their setting, activities and the members that are part of the street kid community in the East Village neighborhood of New York City. Somehow, it helped her begin a conversation with the young individuals who were sitting around the area where she was or with small groups. However, it wasn’t just a normal conversation, it was an informal one. “Agar (1996) believes that informal conversation is a crucial part of ethnography: my bias is to take the informal interview as a central form of data in the early part of ethnography and use observation in a supplemental role…. It’s called informal for a variety of reasons. First you don’t have a written list of questions. Rather, you have a repertoire of question-asking strategies from which you draw as the moment seems appropriate….” (Finkelstein, 2005, p12). At some point, she had to pay them to get them to answer her questions. Furthermore, she continued her study with two methods to collect data from these young kids. FIELD WORK TECHNIQUES & EXAMPLES: As mentioned earlier in this text, she used fieldwork techniques to further her data collection from the street kids by using, first of all, participant observation. This method has 2 purposes, she wanted to be involved with the activities that were appropriate to the situation and be observant to all the activities, people and physical aspects as well. “Since the park contained a diverse range of people, it was easy for me to sit on a bench and remain unobtrusive, and discreetly observe the scene for hours at a time.” (Finkelstein, 2005, p12). She followed with ethnographic interview afterward. “I conducted most of my interviews directly on the busy sidewalks of the East Village streets. This method allowed me to not only observe the kids while they were performing their routine activities (panhandling, etc.) during the interview, but also allowed me to make my presence known to other potential informants.” (Finkelstein, 2005, p12). There are different type of groups that she met throughout her study, which whom she used in her fieldwork, DIFF.GROUPS SHE MET: such as homeless kids, those who ran away, push-outs, kids who stays in system centers, street kids, outcasts and at-risk youth. Finkelstein did have problems throughout her study, HER PROBLEM THROUGHOUT THE STUDY: because she would find herself in a “constant cycle” (Finkelstein, 2005,p12) where she had no choice but to reintroduce herself, gain the trust for another and recruit kids to participate to be interviewed by her. They had a THEIR REACTION TO HER PRESENCE: “cool” thought of her presence but it was a little hard for…