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Old 10-05-2001, 09:36 AM   #1
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My U2 related anthropology assignment.

I've got this anthropology assignment where I have to observe and analyze a ritual. So I got to thinking last night and it hit me...I can observe the ritual of the ga line at the Notre Dame show since I've got reserved seats and don't have to worry about actually being in the line. I also have to interview 2 people from the line and how hard can that be, we're all U2 fans!! I'm supposed to write down everything that I see and hear and what types of things are done/used during the ga "ritual". I thought it was a pretty good idea but I thought I'd throw it out here for everyone to comment on.

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Old 10-05-2001, 09:39 AM   #2
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Here's the info that our instructor gave us for the assignment:



Assignment 1 Oct 16, 2001
Anthropology A104
Instructor: Kathleen Costello
Assignment Number One
Due October 16, 2001

Observing and Analyzing a Ritual

Ritual is highly formalized and stereotyped behavior. Rituals are often associated with religious behavior, but they can also be found in many parts of life and culture (graduation ceremonies, weddings, fraternity initiation ceremonies, courtroom proceedings, and so on are all examples of ritual occasions).

For this assignment, you will attend and analyze an occasion when ritual makes up a key part of the event.

Steps:

1) Attend an occasion in which ritual is a major part of the event. Take a notebook with you, and take field notes on the experience.

Write down everything you see and hear while there. Here are some things to think about: do the people at the event use items in the ritual? What kinds of people are involved, and what are there roles? What do people do with their bodies during the event? Does the ritual include special language? Are there other things, like clothes, locations, food, anything that are important. You donít have to answer all of these if they arenít relevant- but think about them.

2) Ask at least two other people at the ritual what they are doing there and what they think the meaning of the ritual event is. Write down everything they say.

3) Go home and make a cup of tea. Think about the notes you took and the interviews you conducted.

4) Write a 3 _ - 4 page paper on the event you attended. Your paper will include these parts:
A) A 1 _ page description of the event, using specific evidence from your notes to make the description lively and create a sense of ďbeing there.Ē You should include the interpretations of the people you interview here.
B) An analysis of the event. This part of the paper should include a discussion of what the event means to the community that participates in it. Explain the symbols, language, words, and purpose of the ritual. You can also interpret your interviewees ideas in this section.

If you need some help with starting the paper, you can consult Mahmood and Bradyís book the Guruís Gift. I especially found the section on turbans useful. The authors do not keep their descriptions separate from their analysis, but they do a good job of presenting their field data and then providing an interpretation of it.

C) Xerox your field notes or type them up and attach them to the back of the paper.

Make sure that you proofread the paper, and provide citations if you consult class notes or any other material you may have gotten from someone else
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Old 10-05-2001, 09:41 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by clarityat3am:
I thought it was a pretty good idea but I thought I'd throw it out here for everyone to comment on.

ouch! don't throw things at me.

i always wanted to ask you: where is the clarity at 3 am? i sure don't see any clarity at that time (since i'm sleeping).

ps: oh. right. you want our opinion. go ahead. should be fun & cool.



[This message has been edited by U2girl (edited 10-05-2001).]
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Old 10-05-2001, 09:48 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2girl:
ouch! don't throw things at me.

i always wanted to ask you: where is the clarity at 3 am? i sure don't see any clarity at that time (since i'm sleeping).

ps: oh. right. you want our opinion. go ahead. should be fun & cool.

[This message has been edited by U2girl (edited 10-05-2001).]


clarityat3am? well I don't get that anymore since I'm on the schedule of and 8 and 9 year old...lol.

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Old 10-05-2001, 09:53 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by clarityat3am:


clarityat3am? well I don't get that anymore since I'm on the schedule of and 8 and 9 year old...lol.

ah. i didn't know you had kids.

so much for clarity.

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Old 10-05-2001, 12:24 PM   #6
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Old 10-05-2001, 12:28 PM   #7
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It sounds like a neat idea, but I would just be careful about whether you think your prof would take the idea seriously. When I hear "ritual" I think more of a religious gathering or something--but then, everyone in the class can't do a religious gathering. I would say that the other examples given, like graduation ceremonies, are more ritualized than the "gathering" for a U2 concert. But hey, if you think you can write about it well, go for it.



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Old 10-05-2001, 12:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by scatteroflight:
It sounds like a neat idea, but I would just be careful about whether you think your prof would take the idea seriously. When I hear "ritual" I think more of a religious gathering or something--but then, everyone in the class can't do a religious gathering. I would say that the other examples given, like graduation ceremonies, are more ritualized than the "gathering" for a U2 concert. But hey, if you think you can write about it well, go for it.

My prof is a hyper bubblehead, so I think she'd be ok with it. She was talking about one paper that someone had written on the rituals that people had for Superbowl Sunday, so I don't think this is too much of a stretch.

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Old 10-06-2001, 12:51 AM   #9
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Since I've long been of the opinion that the performing arts can provide the non-sectarian door to God for "non-religious" types, and since we all know that the communion we feel at a U2 show, ESPECIALLY at the Elevation shows, is all about God anyway...this assignment is a perfect arena for exploring it!
I didn't actually do the GA line myself, but the ritual aspect of it (or any concert for a major fan of anything) is plain. Just promise you'll post your essay here when it's done, okay? Or if that doesn't feel comfortable, email me, please, 'cause i'd looove to read it...

blessings,
Deb D

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Old 10-06-2001, 03:37 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by clarityat3am:
My prof is a hyper bubblehead, so I think she'd be ok with it. She was talking about one paper that someone had written on the rituals that people had for Superbowl Sunday, so I don't think this is too much of a stretch.

However, for something to be a "ritual" it has to be repeated. Therefore, I would only interview people that had been in the queue for the heart at least two times (if not more). What patterns do they repeat? Why do they go through this process again and again? What about this process makes the experience "better?"

One nice thing about your topic is that you can always "embellish" it a bit with stories you read on-line.

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Old 10-06-2001, 03:41 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by doctorwho:
However, for something to be a "ritual" it has to be repeated. Therefore, I would only interview people that had been in the queue for the heart at least two times (if not more). What patterns do they repeat? Why do they go through this process again and again? What about this process makes the experience "better?"

One nice thing about your topic is that you can always "embellish" it a bit with stories you read on-line.


And with my own ga experience.
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