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My Ethnography Project


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My Ethnography Project

  1. 1. Lucille Roberts… The Study of Women in Astoria and Forest Hills<br />by: Lisseth Ramirez<br />
  2. 2. My Objective(s)…<br />I would like to study how the people in the communities of Astoria and Forest Hills can affect the establishment and the service provided back to the community by the employees.<br />BUT… with the progress of my fieldwork my point of interest changed and so did my objective. <br />It turned out to be that my objective was to study the similarities and motivations of women in both establishment for going to the gym.<br />
  3. 3. Main Questions??<br />How does the establishment impact or benefit the community?<br />What are some of the challenges of being an employee?<br />How does the community benefit the establishment?<br />What kinds of people are considered regular customers? <br />>> There are more questions BUT they became too broad…. <br />
  4. 4. Well, my main questions evolved with the project and became less superficial…<br />These questions adjusted from a focus on physical aspects and appearances of the gym to details about motivations of clients to become involved in a health club!<br />I was looking to compare differences in the effects of socio-economic status from one location to the next. But as I continued to observe what I noted were similarities in motivation and I decided to switch my focus to that key factor. <br />
  5. 5. How did I do this?!<br />aka picture time!!!<br />
  6. 6. Welcome to Astoria!!!<br />
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  9. 9. Welcome to Forest Hills !!!<br />
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  13. 13. I used participant-observation and informal interviews<br />Interviewed employees from both locations who have worked for more than two years<br />Interviewed clients who have been there for over five years from both locations<br />And I over heard a conversation here and there.. Shhhh!!!!!! <br />
  14. 14. More Tactics… <br />I conducted a total of six informal interviews.<br />I spent approximately one and a half hours, two or three times per week observing depending on my availability with work and school schedule.<br />I tried to vary my time frame of observation. <br />
  15. 15. Results<br />My research questions allowed me to learn a lot from the employees and the customers in the community as a whole. (ex: self-esteem)<br />I believe my methods were suitable for my research because the interviews allowed me to get closer to the customers.<br />The participant-observations allowed me to sit and be a passive observer and understand the undercurrents of the environment<br />
  16. 16. Some of My Observations<br />At the beginning of my fieldwork I observed that the members would act different around me. <br />Women were simply talking, laughing, telling stories, talking about their families and friends, and this didn’t vary from race to race or social status.<br />Then the idea and interest to compare and contrast two different neighborhoods according to an establishment went downhill !! <br />
  17. 17. Ups and Downs<br />I was not too sure about what the employees might say to me because they would probably avoid hurting the image of the company. <br />Being bilingual allowed me to ease-drop on conversations allowing me to gather information about the customers.<br />Listening to conversations led me to changing the topic of my project.<br />
  18. 18. Fieldwork and Classroom conversations… hmm<br />According to Freud, many people store painful memories deep into their unconscious mind to try and forget those things but regardless they will always be there.<br />In Lucille Roberts a lot of the members store painful memories deep into the recesses of their minds and use the establishment to help make them less apparent and less of a burden on their daily life.<br />
  19. 19. Freud and Teresa…<br />Teresa had a son who at the age of 27 committed suicide a few days before Christmas. I learned that due to her depression she became obese and one day she passed the establishment and decided to join.<br />She doesn’t miss a day since then and she is able to cope with her circumstance by having something to look forward to.<br />
  20. 20. Freud and Bok…<br />Bok is a 70-year-old Chinese woman who has no contact with her immediate family.<br />Bok has attended the gym daily for the past five years. She caught my attention because I would see her come in at 8AM and not leave until 2PM and then later I would see her return in the evening for approximately two hours.<br />Bok’s children all married and made their lives and do not even contact her...<br />She presents as an aggressive person and is difficult to interact with. I feel that it may be a defense mechanism to avoid having to deal with inquiries regarding her family and her personal life. <br />
  21. 21. Classroom readings and my fieldwork!<br />The course readings, discussions, concepts and theories helped me by giving me the skills to make connections between the information presented in class to real-life applications.<br />“The Woman in the Body” by Emily Martin.<br />Emily Martin was deeply engrossed in her research because she was also part of the population she concentrated on. Similarly, prior to becoming an employee at Lucille Roberts I was a customer, which I thought would alter the results but it didn’t.<br />
  22. 22. “The Gift” by Marcel Mauss<br />The author posits an interesting<br /> theory of reciprocity. In essence an<br /> act of kindness is not without its expectations.<br />In Lucille Roberts, you join and I give you FREE guest passes so that you can bring your friends to workout. In essence my actions are tainted by my own underlying agenda, I aim to obtain more memberships through your advertisement.<br />
  23. 23. Every situation has its problems…<br />A significant challenge I faced during this study was the fact that I am an employee.<br />A secondary challenge can be found in the act of obtaining information as the main source of my information came from informal interviews.<br />Under the guise of a member, I would go to the gym in order to observe the occurrences at the gym. However because my identity as an employee was known, this guise was compromised.<br />
  24. 24. For future reference…<br />In the future I would have a third-party conduct the observations in order to eliminate some of the biases I may have encountered as a result of being an employee.<br />I think this would be more successful than the alternative possibility of informing members that I am conducting research because this secondary option may yield non-genuine results as well. <br />
  25. 25. At last…<br />This ethnography project allowed me to integrate with the people that I work with, as well as with the customers that I deal with in a daily basis.<br />The most interesting thing out of this field work was my own enthusiasm. I seemed to enjoy the field workbecause it was unpredictable the way these women had something in common besides wanting to fit in a pair of jeans.<br />I truly enjoyed sharing words and conversations with the members and I feel that I learned from them as well as they learned about me.<br />I am very glad that I learned to see women in these communities as if it was the same place. <br />