One of the greatest advantages of being a sociologist who lives in the city is that a chance encounter can spark an idea for an interesting research project. Keeping this in mind, mentally transport yourself to riding the subway. There you are riding the train and you begin daydreaming about summer! Sure, you would imagine that each group of surfers had their own understanding of surfing as a sport, the uniqueness their respective locations (where they surfed), and the nature of their surfing community. Sure, surfing seems fun but in surfing in New York? How does surfing relate to being a city dweller? Just then you spot a fellow passenger and you get stoked. You realize that you have the perfect project. Intrigued, you watch this short video to gain a little more insight into surfing Rockaway Beach at http://youtu.be/WqNNT784PVw 1 Â Â Â You decide to conduct an ethnographic study about the Rockaway Beach subculture. How does an urban locale shape this surfing culture? Use the following guide to help you. Be sure to answer the boldfaced questions. Research Question: You decide to conduct an ethnographic study about the Rockaway Beach subculture to focus on two questions: How does an urban locale shape this surfing culture? You determine that ethnographic research will probably be the best method for completing this study. To be certain that you are correct, define ethnography. What are the challenges to researching this group? What ethical guidelines are particularly important? Literature Review: To help you organize your future literature review, what are some key themes or topics that should be explored? Beyond sociology, are there any other fields of scholarship that would provide insight into your project? Provide two citations that might be useful in the literature review. Method:â€¨For each method listed below, provide the following information: 1) Define the method and briefly explain how it is conducted; and 2) Provide examples of how it will be used in your study. â€¢Â Â Archival Research:â€¨o What historical data would be useful? Consider what materials might be available. â€¨Please give examples. â€¨ â€¢Â Â Interviews (Elite and Non-Elite): â€¨ 2 Â Â o o o What type of group members who you like to interview? What are the key questions? Field Observation: What types of behaviors would you like to observe? How will you select and get access to locations? How do you plan to record your observations? Please provide an observation chart that lists expected behaviors. Â Analysis and Dissemination of Findings: Of course, you have not yet conducted the study so you are unable to discuss your findings. However, you should now be thinking about how you can present your findings in different formats to reach specific audiences. The challenge of the project is determining how you can portray the nature of this surfing community and the social meaning that they assign to surfing in New York City. â€¢Â Â How could you communicate these themes in print (a research article)? â€¨ â€¢Â Â How could you communicate these ideas in a visual format? â€¨With the completion of this brief guideline, you will have the core components of a research design!
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