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Mead and Samoa
Mead and Samoa
WINTER QUARTER 2011
UNIT 3: RIGHTEOUS DOPEFIEND AND ETHNOGRAPHY AS SOCIAL ADVOCACY
DUE TO THE Collect-it Box BY 9:30 A.M. ON Wednesday, June 8.
A. Philippe Bourgois and Jeff Schonberg wrote Righteous Dopefiend as a piece of social advocacy, trying to demonstrate something to persuade people of something. What were they trying to demonstrate, whom were they trying to persuade, and of what? How effective do you think the book is as documentation and as advocacy? You should do a close analysis of its effectiveness in demonstrating specific parts of its message and in persuading people of specific parts of the authors' proposals. In addition, you should analyze its possible effectiveness toward different audiences, including for example policymakers, NGOs, medical personnel, law enforcement officials, voters, etc. And pay particular attention to the way that different kinds of language and different kinds of writing are used to appeal to different audiences. Finally, how well does the book work for you? Is it successful in convincing you of the authors' viewpoints and their recommendations? Why or why not?
B. Bourgois and Schonberg, as well as some of the reviewers and blurbers of their book, emphasize the importance of photography in delivering the message of Righteous Dopefiend. Analyze the way that the black-and-white photos contribute to the message of the book. How important do you think the photographs are? What would the book lose, in terms of is poignancy, persuasiveness, or any other important characteristic, if the photographs were not there? What if the photos had been in color? Which ones could have been left out? What would you like to see photos of that are not in the book? Do you agree with Nickie that is ethical to include the photos? Why or why not?
C. You have an extended chance write about what you would write if you would write an ethnographic book. Write a proposal that you think would convince an academic publisher to give you a book contract for your ethnography. You should begin with a brief summary of the book, then talk about the field research that it will be based on (make sure you give details of where, when, and how you will collect your material), the primary points you want to make, and a paragraph or more describing each of at least five chapters in the book. You should also include a section on the audience to whom the book is addressed (professional anthropologists, anthropology classes--which ones?--the general public, etc.). Throughout the proposal, you should compare and contrast your book to the books you have read in this class and, if you have read other ethnographies in or out of class, to those as well.
General guidelines for essays
The first two essays must be turned in by the beginning of class on the due date. Essays that are submitted late on the due date will be graded down one notch (e.g. A- to B+ or B to B-); essays that come in after the due date will be graded down two notches (e.g. A to B+ or B+ to B-). Essays will be returned with extensive comments within ten days from the announced due date and time, which is plenty of time for you to take the grader's comments into account when writing your next essay.
The final essay must be turned in to the drop box, by 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 8. Because of the short deadline for finishing paper grading and turning in final grades, no late essays will be accepted without proof of a medical or other emergency.
Essays should be between 1500 and 2000 words in length, not counting bibliographic references. You may use any style (footnotes, endnotes, or embedded author and date) for references, as long as it is clear where you have gotten your information. Quotations should always be referenced, as should any information that is taken explicitly from a given source.