8SOC 131 Principles of SociologyDoing Sociology: Comparing food marketsDUE 5.4.16
PurposeThis inquiry assignment uses non-participant observation to demonstrate how the process of globalization shapes social life in our local community. You will observe and compare two local markets, writing clear, detailed descriptions when collecting data in the field. Your goal for this assignment is to apply one method, ethnography, to systematically observe the social and spatial ydd organization in local grocery stores. Although difficult, you should try to use this exercise as an opportunity to view the spaces and routines of everyday life from multiple sociological perspectives. Finally, this assignment should empower you as a self-directed learner. When you have questions or encounter uncertainty, you are encouraged to ask questions.
Compare a larger mainstream grocery store chain (Select one: Giant, Harris Teeter, Safeway, Shopper’s Food Warehouse, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Walmart, Target) with an international food market listed on this Google Map (Select one: Super A Market, Food Star Market, Bestway Supermercado, H Mart, Grand Mart, Good Fortune). Keep in mind that this project requires that you make site visits to several locations. Spend at least 45 minutes at each location recording field notes.
Step #1. We begin by describing a grocery store. During class you will diagram a store, and make predictions regarding what you will find during your visit.
Step #2. Visit both stores, spending at least ½ hour taking field notes in each location. In addition to recording general observations, you will use a list of questions to guide your observations. For example:
Before entering the store, describe relevant aspects of the area/neighborhood
Describe the overall store layout (lighting, advertisements, decorations, background music).
How are the aisles arranged? Are any aisles labeled for “ethnic” items? If so, how are these aisles labeled? Within the aisles, how are products organized?
What kind of products are being sold? Where did these products come from? For example – are there fresh vegetables and fruits? If so, where was this produce grown?
Are products described as ‘organic’?
Who frequents this store? What can you tell based on the type of products that are being sold? Also consider the people you see in the store (shoppers & clerks).
Does the store appear to accept forms of public assistance as payment (EBT, WIC, SNAP, etc.)?
You should take detailed field notes, which you will turn in with your final paper. In your observations, be on the lookout for both similarities and differences. Also, please take a picture at the store of an item you do not anticipate the other store to have. Record the price of one item that both stores have (milk, bread, or other common items, etc).
Step #3. Place your observations in social context. Learn more about the neighborhoods surrounding these two food markets. Who lives in these neighborhoods? Has this changed over the last two decades? Use the links provided as your starting point.
Written Report (Approximately 1000-1500 words):Take a step back to reflect on what we can learn sociologically about our local community from this comparison of different food markets in our region. Describe what you observed in the summary section: how are the two food markets similar and how are they different? Using any relevant sociological concepts that we have covered in class this far, interpret your observations.
Your final report should be labeled and organized according to the following outline:
A. Introduction. Provide an overview of the project (ie applying sociological concepts to understanding globalization in our local community).
B. The greater Washington area. Use the sources below to help in describing changes in the DC area.
Layton, Lyndsey and Keating, Dan. 2006. “Area immigrants top 1 million.” Washington Post Online.
Singer, Audrey. 2012. Brookings Institution “Metropolitan Washington: A New
C. Study Context.
Include the table and your analysis of the reviews of 2 grocery stores here [this was the assignment you turned in on 3.17].
D. Observations and analysis.
Describe each location referencing the guiding questions provided. Limit this section to observable phenomena – things that you can see. Use sociological concepts (globalization, race/ethnicity, class, culture, structure, gender, consumption, etc.) to help you make sense of what you see. How were your observations different from your initial predictions in Step #1?
You do not have to include all of your field notes here. Rather you can choose relevant sections that address the concepts you are discussing.
As a result of these observations, what can you say about globalization in our metropolitan region?
How do these observations relate to your personal experiences?
F. Appendix: Fieldnotes/Pictures
You can include your full fieldnotes here as well as any pictures you took during your visit.
**Make sure to include a photo you take at the grocery store holding an item from that store.
Make sure that your paper cites the sources you use accurately using ASA citation format. You will submit an electronic copy of your paper to Turnitin.com.
Use Google Docs to share your final version. Everything should be in a single document.
Use double-spaced 12-point Times New Roman or Calibri font
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES :
Learn more about ethnography and taking ethnographic field notes:
Your goal is to describe what you see clearly enough that someone who is not with you would be able to picture your research setting.
Rhodes, James. “Ethnography in Sociology” University of Manchester: http://www.methods.manchester.ac.uk/resources/categories/ethnographic/sociology/
Mould, Tom.“Field Observation” The Program for Ethnographic Research and Community Studies: http://www.elon.edu/docs/e-web/org/percs/Observation.pdf
The social context:
US Census Bureau “American Fact Finder by zipcode”
UVA Cooper Center “Racial Dot Map”
Layton, Lyndsey and Keating, Dan. 2006. “Area immigrants top 1 million.” Washington Post Online. August 15. Accessed July 31, 2014
Singer, Audrey. 2012. Brookings Institution
please follow the instrucation very carefully and I need it two days before the due day.