Field Report 1 – Public Transportation

LA Field Project Introduction


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● “The City is a mosaic of little worlds which touch, but do not interpenetrate.” [ Robert E. Park, early 20th century ]
● People of different social backgrounds lead increasingly separate, parallel lives.” [ Angela Merkel, German chancellor, beginning of 21st century ]
● Are the above statements correct or incorrect?
● Not just gut reactions – observe how you respond & dissect it

Field Report 1 – Riding the bus/rail

1. Who are the people (gender, age, race, languages they speak, etc.) who are travelling on the bus? Where did they get on/off the bus? Seating arrangements, what lines of difference sort people? Time of day influences this. Include sketch/photo.
2. What do they do? Who do they sit next to? Do they move seats during the course of the trip? What kinds of social interactions, if any, occur between passengers & the passenger & driver? Who is talking with whom? Patterns. What happens when you/someone enters?
3. If there are interactions, what is the nature of the interaction, including body language (e.g. people talking to each other, looking at each other, ignoring each other, taking defense postures towards each other)? What role do cell phones play in how people act on the bus/rail? Would you say that the interaction is detached, civil, friendly, tense, etc.
4. If at all, how did you interact with people on the bus?
5. How do you feel as a passenger on the bus? Reflect on your own responses to social difference.
6. Analyzing, interpreting/explaining & reflecting on observations & experiences
– Sort observations according to the questions: identify & select most important observation for interpretation and inclusion in the report.
– Read through your notes & make additional comments afterwards.
– Notes on photos
– Continuouslt analyze your observations – always look for the meaning underlying the patterns and behavior you obserbe & your own reactions – reclection
– Ask yourself “whats going on here?” How can I make sense of what I am ovserving drai

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