Week 1 Activity

 

This activity required me to ask a few strangers to step out of their comfort zone. Over time, I have realized that a topic such as race is one very few people are actually willing to discuss. It makes people uncomfortable to discuss race, and mostly because they fear they will say something wrong. This was something I found evident in my answers as well. All six people that I interviewed would use terms such as “maybe, um, I guess, etc.” before finishing or providing me with an answer. This is how I could tell of their uncertainty. I found myself quite surprised with this activity. I did not realize how confusing race was to others. However, I believe conducting my interviews in my small conservative town could have caused a bias for my subjects. I found that most people still classify race as being physically distinct, and biological. One of my subjects answered with “as being born…” Which implied that he thought that race was not socially constructed. People think and talk about race as something of an “other.” They do not think about their own race and why they may have been classified that way, or why race was created to begin with. They try and separate themselves from it. Perhaps this makes it easier to discuss for some people, as race can be a sensitive subject. From this assignment I learned that when conducting anthropological research, it is important to connect with your subjects. When I would nod my head to agree, they would be more willing to keep talking and go into details about their answers. This made me realize that race is not something that people just do not want to discuss. I think it is more an issue that people are afraid to discuss it. By making people more comfortable talking about it is one way put it on their radar and actually get them to ask questions about their beliefs.

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