Sociologists conduct research to collect information about society and they apply their findings to better understand the human condition. Sociologists can investigate people in their natural environments by becoming part of their everyday settings to observe and study participants.
In this assignment, you will observe groups of people in social settings to better understand social patterns and group dynamics and then you will write about your findings.
Complete Parts 1 and 2 below.
Part 1: Social Group Observation
Imagine you are a sociologist who is researching the behavior of social groups in social settings.
Conduct an in-person observation in a setting where a group of people gather. Examples of places with groups include malls, grocery stores, libraries, restaurants, coffee shops, parks, schools, employee break rooms, parking lots, pubs, sporting events, or your local neighborhood.
Station yourself in a safe location where you can observe people for 30–60 minutes without having to approach or engage them. You will just observe people, not interact with them.
Use the Social Group Observation Template to collect field notes on the following data about the individuals in your observation, as you perceive it:
Note: Your numbers do not need to be exact but try to make them as accurate as possible. You do not need to submit your field notes with your assignment—they are for you to reference as a guide during your observation.
Part 2: Findings
Write a 350- to 525-word explanation of your observation findings. Do the following information in your discussion:
- Describe the setting for your observation, including the location, time of day (morning, afternoon, evening), and the weather, if relevant.
- Describe the patterns of group behavior you observed that may have been influenced by each of the following factors:
- Describe any cultural norms you may have observed in the social groups.
- Explain any social or economic factors that may have influenced the dynamics of the social groups.
- Explain how observing social patterns and group dynamics may help you succeed in culturally diverse environments.
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