Sociology: Lost Letter, Poverty, Marriage

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Michelle Wilcox
Sociology
12/06/12
Final Project

Before the presidential election, between Barak Obama and Mitt Romney, we were assigned a group project. In this project we had to secretively leave a “lost letter” on the ground, for a random person to walk by, in a public area, and at COD, and observe the outcome. The letters contained nothing of importance, but simply stamped with either presidential candidate, and addressed to our professor. We had to record weather or not the passerby’s did any of the following: Glance, Ignore, Stop and look, Picked up the letter, etc. Following the results of the pedestrians, we were supposed to hand them a survey that asked them personal political questions. Some of the questions were the political position they stood closest to weather that was Democratic, independent, and republican, none or something other than the following. Another question was which candidate they were leaning towards in the 2012 election, Obama, Romney, or neither. They were asked what their reaction was to our “lost letter’ and if they were walking alone or with someone else. They finally were asked if they had any relation to College Of Dupage and if they were interested in receiving the results of this study. On a Sunday night, around 7 o’ clock, where the temperature was dropping and the wind was picking up, my partner, Jack, and I, went downtown Naperville to start our Lost letter project. We dropped the letters along the street Washington and Jefferson Ave. While sitting on a bench in the distance, I observed, that on this particular night, it was more common for the passerby’s to not pay too much attention to the letter. We recorded that the majority of everyone who actually saw the letter, continued walking. While recording, Jack was standing near the letter handing out the surveys to the passerby’s. Our first response to this study failed, but not completely, due to a women seeing us drop the letter and kindly asked if this was our letter. Jack jokingly said it wasn’t but then preceded saying that it was, and asked what she was going to do with it. Her response was that she was going to put it in the mailbox that was right next to all of us. On another study, a man picked the letter up and seemed like he didn’t want to just put it back on the ground, so he placed it on top of a garbage can in a more noticeable spot. In another instance, the letter was completely ignored but we were asked if we needed any drugs where we then declined and decided to move on to a different spot. Aside from those recordings, the rest of what occurred was people ignoring the letter. As we passed out the surveys to our public passerby’s, most people seemed not interested in the partaking of it. I feel as though this election was more secretive for people and also more controversial. Considering both candidates were different races, and also the competitiveness between the Democrats VS Republicans. But out of the countless times we handed a survey out, few did participate and asked us the reasoning of this project. Simply we told them it was a project we had to do in Sociology 1100 at College Of Dupage, where we observe people’s reactions to a lost letter being found on the ground. Taking into consideration the time and place of the study is of much importance. Following the observation of the letter, each person should receive a survey to take about the presidential debate, for reasons I don’t even know why. The weather was a cold wind making it even unbearable for me to sit in while observing. Overall our results for our public study were very non interactive, simply put. During our “lost letter” study, here at College of Dupage, we recorded our findings on the second floor of the Berg Instructional Center, in a remote hallway, around two o’ clock Thursday, before class. We used the same concept of losing a letter, observing from afar, while another member of the group passed out a survey. Our results for this...
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