Finally, after the hustle and bustle of the first unit assignment, you all can finally take a breath…did you enjoy that breath? Good, because now it’s time to dive straight into the second unit assignment: social sciences.
After a rapid turnaround, we are already knee deep into our observational field study and beginning to look into second hand sources for annotated bibliographies. Migrating into the social sciences is a slight gear change and will differ greatly from writing in the natural sciences. Firstly, the format of the final project is significantly different than the popular health article. The final project will be a presentation in front of the class concerning a certain subculture on UNC’s campus. Also, unlike previous research in the natural sciences, we will conduct our own investigations into different cultures by going to their various events on campus and actively engaging with that particular community with which we are not associated. This will provide us with unique insight into the sub-culture and broaden our horizons of different opportunities on campus. The scope of the sub-cultures in the class is very broad ranging from religious organizations to intramural sports teams.
This research is also different from the previous assignment because rather than using an abundance of statistics and other quantitative data, this research is qualitative and focuses more deeply and draws conclusions about a narrow group of people rather than a broad application and general public, thus the research occurs for an elongated period of time and delves deep into that particular group. This is why it is important for the students to get their feet wet in the subculture that have chosen.
The goal of English 105 is to introduce and teach students various modes and styles of different genres and disciplines. When writing within different disciplines, students must become familiar with the tone of the research. Social sciences while less numerical than the natural sciences, still falls under the science discipline which means they value brevity as reflected in the citation (APA). The social sciences still also seek to draw a conclusion based on the observations and collected data even though it may only be applicable to a limited group of people.
Paul Blom has been emphasizing the importance of observations. He showed the class two LEGO commercials, and the class analyzed each of the commercials to determine the targeted audience and message behind it. He had the class pay close attention to those present and those not, the sounds, the colors, the voices. Social sciences emphasize the five senses: touch, taste, smell, sound, and sight. In the observational field notes, he urged us to pay close attention to these factors. Who is there? What are they talking about? How are they interacting? What do they look like? By answering these questions, we are able to better understand the culture which we research and further narrow down our research question.
With it now being the second week of the new groups, people are becoming more comfortable talking to one another and giving each other feedback. Another benefit to the new groups is that we are figuring out what other people are involved and interested in. This allows for different insights into the subcultures we are studying and another perspective from which to go about researching.
While this past week has been a blur, with the increasing amount of work, midterms, and assignments in other classes, the English 105 project has allowed students to expand their horizons and enjoy other parts of campus that they may have never thought to explore.
All the pictures from the collage can be found here: