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Field Study in Ethnographic Research

  • Updated February 8, 2021
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Ethnography is the study of people and cultures. Ethnography explores cultural phenomenon where the researcher observes society from the point of view of the subject of the study. An ethnography is a means to represent graphically and in writing the culture of a group. The field site I have chosen to conduct my field study was the Shangrila canteen located in the lower market in Kanglung.

The field site was crowded with less open space. The canteen room was spacious but the room was compact so we could hardly breathe. The canteen is located right above the national highway of Trashigang towards the end of Sherubtse College. Inside the canteen the room comprises of furniture such as tables, chairs, fan, washroom and some beautiful paintings. The canteen displayed varieties of sweets just below the bill counter and some drinks too. The tables and chairs were arranged in a systematic manner with table clothes. The room was big in size to provide accommodation for more number of customer for dining purpose.

The weather that day was quite cloudy because prior to my observation it was rainy and the climate was moderate. When the event was taking place I got to hear some sounds such as honking of cars, howling of dogs, washing of utensils, cooking, verbal communication among the customers and interaction while purchasing the products from the shopkeeper. The canteen exhorted sweet aroma of Indian sweets, fried flat bread (Puri) and chickpeas. The place was open for customer and most of the customer are students of Sherubtse College and few Dantak officials and people who traveled along the highway.

During the observation there were more than ten people present in the canteen. In the canteen both the gender were present but the number of males were more as compared to the number of females. The age of the people present in that particular room were in the early twenties because most of them were students of Sherubtse College. People of different ethnic background were present at the time of the event but majority of them were from Sharchops (Eastern Bhutanese). The physical appearance of each people differed from person to person but in the general sense all of the people were categorized by uniformity, that is, they were all dressed in the national dress exclusive to Bhutanese people and customers. Women were dressed up in Kira and the men were dressed up in the traditional.

Gho and the non-Bhutanese were dressed in pants and T-shirt especially those who were working in the canteen and officials from Dantak.

The event took place around 5:30 in the evening. During the event I noticed that customer visit the place for dinner. When more number of customer visits the place the activity of social interaction takes place. The canteen receives more customer during the dinner time because it seems more people come hungry at that time and some people are habituated and cultured to this particular place for dining purpose. They even have their favorite food in the canteen and Shangrila canteen being their accustomed place for food. At the time of event I noticed that majority of people come in groups and some visit in duos while some choose to visit individually.

Those people who come in a group often share more laughter than those who come individually and those who come in pair have mutual conversations. One group did not interact with the others except on the basis of whether they know them personally or not. They interact in their own group rather than in general. In general the place is the hub for gathering of people of different ethnic background. During the event I observed that people were sharing about their social life, family, love and their profession. The interaction were taking place in a close group. While observing the event I saw people from various ethnic.

In order to conduct field study, I armed myself with equipment such as pen, notebook and mobile phone for recording the event that is being taking place. While going to the field site the canteen most of the seat inside the canteen was occupied by customers and I was worried about not getting a seat but fortunately I got a seat right next to the pillar and I grabbed a site, asking for a tea and sweets to the shopkeeper and after that I could see people busy in conversation. I was immediately surprised by the laughter they made because they were laughing at the top of their voice.

Even though different people came from different cultures it does not seem to bother them and in fact it was a good opportunity for me to carry out the field study because I knew how we human behave when we have privacy and especially when we are with friends. The culture surrounding the canteen was mainly that of a place of dining, it a place where people come to gather and interact, unlike the college cafeteria the canteen is not only subjected to have student and staff customers, it entertains people from various aspects of life and sole reason for this being that it is situated in the middle of the city. Therefore, it is an interesting place to visit and it a place where people from all ethnic backgrounds gather and simply interact and have a casual conversation.

References

  1. Wikipedia. (2019, 9 7). Retrieved from Wikipedia Web site: https//en,mwikipedia.org

Cite this paper

Field Study in Ethnographic Research. (2021, Jan 17). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/field-study-in-ethnographic-research/

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