For an ethnographer, one of the most important aids to fieldwork is the personal journal. In these journals, ethnographers jot down their daily observations about the society in which they are living or doing research, as well as their personal thoughts, questions about, and reactions to the situations they observe. These journal notations may be quite different from the formal interview questions, questionnaire responses, or video descriptions ethnographers would develop for their specific areas of research.
It requires you to select any three of the video programs listed under the “Viewing Assignment” sections in the Study Guide and to produce personal, two-page journal entries for each. Your journal entries should record your ethnographic observations on and thoughts about each video program. Although you may want to use the study questions that accompany the viewing assignment as a guide, your journal must include much more than your responses to these questions. For instance, it should contain your personal observations about and reflections on these societies.
What implications do the issues raised in these programs have for your own society?
Do you agree with Maybury-Lewis’ interpretations and contrasts?