Cultural Observation

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Kyle Ingraham
Soc-120-02
April 13, 2012
Project 2: Cultural Observation

Culture is the sum total of learned beliefs, values, and customs in which a people of a particular society live. Culture is dynamic and always changing but retains patterns that form its basic infrastructure. Many aspects of a people’s society make up one’s culture including religion, economy, language, politics, etc. Cultures are not finite and in many instances have there own number of sub cultures within them. This variation among cultures brings about man consequences between populations, which can be positive or negative. I have been given the task to use participant observation in order to form a complete report on the daily social interactions of humans in the Saint Louis area.

The location I chose is in the middle of a higher learning environment known as a college campus. The area lies in the middle of the campus and has a large structure with a device that measures and tracks time. It is a frequently used path by the students of the campus, which allows for many social observations to be made. As stated earlier the space is a walking highway for students with the most traffic-taking place in the morning at the end of each hour for a period of about ten minutes. The pathway is a large round a bout that circles around the clock tower structure with 4 perpendicular paths continuing off from the circle. I sat on a large concrete staircase that overlooks the circle, for my observations. I sat for one and a half hours observing the following.

For the duration of my observation, which began at 11:00am I had many people sitting on the stair case fixture in front of me. At one point there were a total of 23 people sitting on the concrete stairs. These 23 people were paired off in groups of no more than 6. When the time came closer to the end of the hour, there was a dramatic increase in traffic flow around the clock structure. Many of the people walked at a steady pace and...
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