Note: This is a student project from a course affiliated with the Ethnography of the University Initiative. EUI supports faculty development of courses in which students conduct original research on their university, and encourages students to think about colleges and universities in relation to their communities and within larger national and global contexts.

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Title:Motivations and Consequences of Students Going Home on the Weekends: An Ethnographic Study at Illinois State University
Author(s):Grill-Donovan, Katie; Gegg, Anne; Tippy, Erin
Subject(s):Going home
student involvement
family ties
ANT 285
Fall 2009
Abstract:At Illinois State, student involvement is a major issue because the university’s goal is to provide an enriched college experience beyond the classroom. With over 30% of students lining in campus housing, it is still observed that students leave campus during the weekends. The purpose of the study is to study why students decide to “get involved” or not by interviews with students and staff, surveys of students, and observations of campus events. Who is involved and who is going home on the weekends can help the university to better learn how to capture the student’s interests to get them involved and want to stay on campus more.
Issue Date:2009
Course / Semester:The objective of this course is to provide students with hands-on training in ethnographic methods and writing and to help students become critical readers of ethnographic research. Instead of attempting to present a whole smorgasbord of research methods or to survey the vast literature on ethnographic fieldwork, we focus on a small selection of techniques that are central to much anthropological fieldwork (field note taking, participant observation, interviewing, mapping) and that are most useful and relevant for students' semester projects. Other techniques and issues are discussed and incorporated as they emerge from students' own research inquiries. Students will not conduct a full-blown research project but instead will get “a taste” of ethnographic research through a series of ethnographic exercises and students' own mini-project. At the end of the semester, students write an ethnographic research report based on their findings and reflections on the research process. This course is affiliated with the EUI and, as a part of this initiative, students are asked to try their hand at ethnographic research about their own institution, Illinois State University.
Date Available in IDEALS:2010-06-12

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

  • Student Communities and Culture
    The university offers an extraordinary opportunity to study and document student communities, life, and culture. This collection includes research on the activities, clubs, and durable social networks that comprise sometimes the greater portion of the university experience for students.

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