Activity 3

For Activity 3 we will take a closer look at our census tracts by spending time at a café, restaurant, or other location in the neighborhood observing social life.

Here are a few guidelines for choosing a location:

1. If you haven’t already, return to the Statistics Canada web page to look at the map of your census tract. You will need to find a location within these boundaries to make your observations.

2. Choose an open location where you will be welcome to spend an hour making observations without disturbing others.

3. Choose a location that you expect will capture the social life of the neighborhood. Perhaps a place where you expect to find active social life suggested in this week’s readings. Use any previous knowledge you have to choose a location strategically.

4. Use your common sense when choosing a location. Do not choose a location that is dangerous for you or make observations at times of the day that are dangerous. Avoid locations where your presence will anger or disturb others.

Here are some guidelines for making observations:

1. Plan to spend at least one to two hours total at the location. Choose the time strategically, and when possible make two sets of observations at different times.

2. Take time to observe the setting closely. What is the physical structure like and how might it lend itself to social interactions? What types of people appear to frequent the location?

3. Look for evidence of people meeting and spending time at the location who have some prior relationships. Did they just bump into each other, arrange to meet, or is the location a taken for granted place where they simply expect to meet others?

4. Take notes! Either during the observation period or immediately afterwards. These notes will be essential for remembering and writing about the experience.

5. Take a photo. It’s a cliché, but a picture can be worth 1000 words in conveying key aspects of a location. Bring an illustrative photo to class on Monday.

For Monday bring a 300 to 500 word (typed) summary of your experience. Use the opening pages of Duneier’s chapter as a guide for writing up your notes. Include one photo of the location and a selfie of you in the field.