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Select a public setting (e.g. a seminar/public talk/meeting/government office) or a virtual setting (e.g. a Facebook group or a newsroom comments space) and conduct field observations (through direct observation, participant observation, or you may also try out photo-elicitation. Field observations Step 1: State your guiding question and select a site for your observation that enables you to explore the question (e.g. How gendered is a particular seminar discussion? How is collective identity practiced among an ethnic minority group in a transborder region? How does power work through built spaces such as government offices, town squares, or parliament buildings?). Do not forget that even for this limited exercise you will need to engage with some political science phenomenon broadly conceived. Thus, some conceptual work prior to carrying out the fieldwork is necessary and should involve consultation of relevant scholarship. Should opportunity arise, you are most encouraged to observe and report on a political meeting/demonstration or protest of some kind. Your site of choice could also be virtual, such as an online community group, a newsroom comments space, or an email list at a designated time. Step 2: Write up your field notes immediately after leaving the field site. Do make sure that you have designed and used an observation sheet for conducting your fieldwork. Even though you may not think so when you are participating and observing, you are very likely to forget important details unless they get written down very quickly. Please consult additional materials below on how to take notes and what to record in the field. 2 Your field notes should include: 1. Date, time, and place of observation 2. Specific facts and details of what happens at the site 3. Sensory impressions (sights, sound etc.) 4. Personal responses to the fact of recording field notes (keep these separate from the actual details observed!) 5. Specific words, phrases, summaries of conversations, and insider language that you are likely to forget 6. Questions about people or behaviors at the site for future investigation Step 3: Write a short paper (min. 1300-1500 words) of what you learned in the setting regarding your guiding question. You are not required to apply any specific data analysis technique for this particular assignment. In your fieldwork report, you might want to include the following: (a) A brief description of the topic of your observation, an explanation of the guiding question that you have chosen for carrying out the task, and your conceptualization of the phenomenon of interest for data collection purposes. (b) A brief description of the context of the observation. How did you choose your site(s) of observation and why? What were you interested in finding out? What type of observation did you conduct and why? (c) A summary of what you learned regarding your guiding question. What are the preliminary findings/themes/patterns that you begin to identify regarding your guiding questions? What additional questions emerged that could help focus your next observations on subsequent visits? Can you begin drawing preliminary connections or potential conclusions based on what you learned? Step 4: After completing the field exercise, submit (1) your observation sheet, (2) your field notes, (3) informed consent documents (if any), and (4) a short paper on your findings.


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