Final Paper Preparation Part I – Research Project


Week 2 – Assignment  Due Jun 26, 2017 by 10:58pm  Points 8 

Final Paper Preparation: Part I – Research Project

In preparation for your Final Paper, this week you will submit information about the event at which you will conduct participant observation and conduct library research on it.

Explain how you will adhere to the Statement on Ethics . of the American Anthropological Association while conducting your fieldwork, and inform the community of your intention to observe them. Make sure you obtain permission beforehand to observe them. Make sure not to directly involve vulnerable groups such as minors, disabled individuals, or other groups that may require special ethical considerations. While you can observe a ritual involving minors such as baptism given the consent of parents, you should not interview minors or otherwise engage with them.

Try to choose an event that is outside of your usual religious tradition (e.g., do not go to the church service you regularly attend unless there is no other viable option).

Appropriate sites include, but are not limited to Baptism ritual Dharma talk at a Buddhist center or temple Marriage ritual (of any faith). Make sure to primarily      elaborate on the rituals at the event. Puja at a Hindu temple Rasta reasoning session Religious service (of any faith) A religious rite of passage (involving community)

Note: If you are unable to attend a specific site, you may use the following alternative sites for your ethnography. An online chat group dedicated to a particular religion      or faith An online religious talk or service The      Buddha Center .      (

This should be used only in special circumstances, and you must have the permission of your instructor in advance to do so.

In your paper Identify the place, time, and description of the event      where you will conduct participant observation. Explain the feasibility of the project. You must gain      appropriate access into the religious event, prior to the event, by      clearing your participation with key persons in the religious community.      For example, if you intend to conduct participant observation at a Sunday      church service, you must call ahead and make sure it is permissible to      attend the service and to conduct unobtrusive, quiet observations. You      might also ask if the officiate or other conducting personnel could meet      with you before or after the service to answer questions and provide a      context for the religious event. You must provide, in narrative form, a      justification of the feasibility of your research, and provide a      description of the process you went through to obtain permission to attend      the event. Include library research. Find at least two scholarly      sources (e.g., articles from peer-reviewed journals and eBooks available      using Ashford University Library or another source and/or printed books      that provide background information on the event you will observe). You      may incorporate more than two sources as you will need a total of six      sources, in addition to the textbook, for your Final Paper. Describe the      information from the sources with as much specificity as possible, so that      you will understand the nuances of the event and the background of the      religion you’ve chosen. For example, to observe a Buddhist ritual, it is      important to understand Buddhism and the particular Buddhist traditions as      well as the culture of the people participating in the Buddhist event.      Indicate how these sources will help you prepare for your participant      observation research. Use the article by Melinda B. Wagner in Chapter 1 of      your textbook “The Study of Religion in American Society” as a      guide in preparing for your research, and integrate the reading to analyze      the challenges involved in studying religion in American Society and how      this relates to the religious event to be observed.

In Week Three, you will conduct your first fieldwork observations. In Weeks Four or Five, you will conduct follow up observations. Therefore, this week, you must provide, in narrative form, a justification of the feasibility of your research. For example, if you intend to observe baptism in a Catholic church, it happens once a month and so a follow-up visit may not be possible. Establish contacts with people in charge of the event and those you will interview. Point out in your contact at least one person you can do follow up interview with. Get in touch with people at the event and find out whether your proposed event is feasible or not. Provide names of contacts as well as how you have arranged to stay in touch with them for the duration of your project.

The paper must be two to three pages in length (excluding the title and references pages) and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center. You must use at least two scholarly sources. Cite your sources in text and on the references page. For information regarding APA samples and tutorials, visit the Ashford Writing Center..

Carefully review the Grading Rubric for the criteria that will be used to evaluate your assignment.

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