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ANTH110 Cultural Anthropology

Collaboratory and Lab 1: Writing a Thick Description
1. Prepare:
a. Read:

“Writing Thick Descriptions” Excerpt: “Deep Play” (Geertz)

b. Watch:

-Clifford Geertz: The Interpretation of Cultures (The Balmese Cockfight)

c. Review:
Power Point Presentation Lab Instruction Sheet:
Prepare Materials:
-Utensils to assist you to dissect the food item such as a plastic spoon, fork and knife. A plastic or wooden cutting board or similar surface.
-Note-taking materials: stickies, notebook, etc.
- Prepare yourself to produce a written and visual jot-note style account of the dissection. You can write and take pictures, use post- it notes, mind-map, or use whatever method of note-taking that works for you.
1. Select: Select an edible item from a local food market, grocery store, or family cupboard or refrigerator. This item should be something that you are generally unfamiliar with or have never tried; an ingredient such as a spice that you have not previously eaten.
2. Reflect: You will now reflect upon your selection process: why do I think what I thick? why am I reacting this way? Note these down
#Questions: Ask R-D questions about the item and then record your pre-conceptions and assumptions about the item and record why you chose it, what drew you to it, where it was located on the grocery shelf, cupboard or fridge.
3. Reflect: You will now reflect upon and ask questions about your own questions: why do I think what I think? why am I reacting this way? Does the item conjure up any memories, thoughts, feelings, or emotions? Note these down.

4. Dissect: Using utensils from your kitChen begin your dissection. Go slowly. Each decision you make should be recorded and noted down. Remember to use your senses of touch and smell. You do not have to taste or ingest the item if you do not want to.

5. Reflect: You will now reflect upon the dissection process: why do I think what I think? why am I reacting this way? Note these down.
6. Thick Description: Using all your notes and reflections you will then write a short "thick", ethnographically-oriented, description of the totality of the experience. Remember to let the first draft sit for a few hours and then go back and edit it before submitting the final through Turnitin.

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