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:Community Within: Looking at the Illinois State University Student Government Association
Subject(s):Student Government Association (SGA)
ANT 285
Fall 2009
Abstract:The purpose of this paper is to gain an understanding for how the Student Government Association functions at Illinois State University. It will be studied through the observation of meetings and events, distributed surveys to association members and the student body, and interviews with current and past members. All participants with the study will be 18 years or older. This study will produce knowledge of how the Student Government is portrayed on campus and help the SGA better the function of their organization.
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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