Write a 10-page report about your experience.
10 pages, double space, due within 3 days
Most important: you have to take part into the observation. please choose the observation occured in Ottawa, Canada (you have to do a little bit research in the city, thx)
Conduct Participant Observation in a setting of your choice.
Write a 10-page report about your experience. The report will cover the following aspects of the research:
1, Introduction of the Topic/Situation you want to observe (2.5 pages)
2. Methodology: (2.5 pages)
Review how you met the methodological requirements as discussed in the course lecture (I send you the lecture notes, please read it and refer it as much as possible)
3. Present your observations (2 pages)
4. Discuss your findings (3 pages)
Field Note: Number 1
Date: October 14, 2014
Place: Spring Rolls, Food court, University Centre
Observation Time: 30 minutes
Personal Reflection: It was 5:30 in the afternoon. I had a 3-hour class at 2:35 pm and would have a 1.5-hour class starting at 6:05 in the evening. Then I decided to do the first observation during this half-hour break. I was walking to University Centre from Residence commons. There were lots of students walking around, and bunches of people standing in the bus station going home. It was windy out there. Since I didn’t wear too much, I was hoping it would not be too cold at night. And on the way to UC, I decided to do this observation for Spring Rolls, as a specific place to obverse customers. Tired
Description of Setting: The food court is divided into three parts. Two parts are similar due to both of them provides food, but the one in the middle is for cooked foods, and the other one in the right side supplies fast foods. And the part in the left side is the area that is set with well-organized tables and chairs provided for students to eat. It was approximately 5:35. I was walking into the food court. Only half of it was available, due to the fact that it was getting the closing hour. I went straight to Spring Rolls. Spring Rolls provided food super slowly. There were couple students waiting in line, and later on an increasing number of students were coming up. At the time I was getting there, only one male waited in line, others are all females. Well-organized
Personal Reflection: It was pretty warm inside the food court, so I took off my jacket. I stood beside the waiting line, holding my notebook and observing. At the beginning, I felt fine with it. Afterwards, couple of students noticed that I was watching. Then I had to looking around, pretending to wait for friends. I felt so awkward at that time. Warm
Description of Setting Focusing Observations on the customers’ ordering behaviors: The first one I observed was a girl with short hair, dark-green jacket. She seemed already had an idea of what to order cause she didn’t look at the menu. The casher was not there, but the girl was patient for her food. When the casher went back and asked her, she said her order right away. The second one was a girl, too. She was in black with a big scarf. She kept looking up the menu, appearing to think which one taste better. And after 2 minutes, she looked at her phone. And then she looked up the menu again. Then a boy came. He wore a woolen hat and black jacket. He was talking with his friends and not looking at the menu at all. Sometimes he was looking around, or checking his phone. He seemed impatient there. In his turn, he ordered fast, like the first girl. The following were a Chinese couple. Both of them looked up the menu, but it seemed like the guy was more likely to care about what to eat. They were talking. By using his hands, the guy was trying to explain to his wife what might be included in each choice. Then he ordered both his and his wife’s food. The last one was a boy. He was skinny and in white. He didn’t think too much when he ordered, but he tried to describe something to the casher.
Field note: Number 2
Date: October 17, 2014
Place: Subway, Food Court, University Centre
Observation time: 30 minutes
Personal Reflection: COMM 2100 lecture had just been over. It was 1:30 in the afternoon. I walked to UC food court through tunnels with couple friends. In that lecture I didn’t really understand the professor’s couple points. It was pretty frustrated. I would have a mid term next week. I was super busy these days. And I though at this time food court might have few students, so I was kind of worried. However, the weather was nice, at least not cold. This made me feel comfortable. Frustrated
Description of Setting: this time I decided to observe costumers of Subway, since I thought Subway was the most popular food among students. Subway was located at the left hand side as you walking into food court. It was surprised that even though it was around 2 pm, still, there were lots of students waiting in lines of Subway, Pizza pizza, and Spring Rolls, etc. As usual, food court was warm, making my body feel relax. The waiting line of Subway was long and slow. And this time, the area for students to eat was totally available. The seats besides windows were all occupied. Popular
Personal Reflection: I chose to wait in line and order a sandwich as my lunch, because it wouldn’t be such awkward if I just used my cell phone to record, instead of standing outside of line, recording by my notebook. Then participants would not notice that I was doing an observation. And it was easier for me to get close to them so that I could get more details. Not awkward
Description of Setting Focusing Observations on the customers’ ordering behaviors: The first one I recorded was a boy. He was wearing a woolen hat and glasses. I was not sure if he prepared to order, because although he was looking up to the menu, he seemed like he was thinking other things, not like really looking up each food. He didn’t pay attention to how fast the line went. He didn’t answer the staff until the staff asked him the third time. The second one was a guy wearing a grey jacket and a heavy black backpack. He was alone. He was listening to music and enjoying the melody, or lyrics, I guessed. And he didn’t looking at the menu at all. He looked relax. And he told the waiter his need clearly and fast. The third one was a woman wearing a dark blue sweater. It looked like Subway was a new thing for her to try, but she didn’t know what to choose. Therefore, she tried to listen to the choices of individuals in front of her. And she kept looking up to the menu. She was careful and a little bit nervous when she ordered food. The next was a group. They were standing behind me and always talking and laughing. They were discussing which combinations tasted better. Guys were more likely to order Italian bread with 12 inch; and girls preferred flatbread with 6 inch. Guys enjoyed ham and both cheeses; while girls like turkey more, and those girls who wanted to lose weight didn’t like cheeses at all.
Listen to music
Field note: Number 3
Date: October 20, 2014
Place: Pizza Pizza, Food Court, University Centre
Observation time: 30 minutes
Personal Reflection: It was Monday. I didn’t have any class on Monday. Well since I would have a mid-term test on Thursday night, I went to the library, and study for the exam. It was around 11 o’clock, I felt a little bit hungry. When I went downstairs to Starbucks, I saw a crowd of students. Okay, then I went to food court to get my lunch. No class
Description of Setting: Pizza Pizza was at first right when people walked into food court. There was a long table on which various kinds of pizza were placed in order, such as peperoni pizza, classic pizza, garden veggie pizza, etc. In order to keep the pizzas clean from customers, a long colorless glass was designed to partition the food. And customers usually wait along the table. In addition, Pizza Pizza provided combos, which meant it sold not only pizza, but also chicken nuggets, French fries and drinks. Close
Personal Reflection: there was a long line there, as I got to food court. I thought waiting in line might be better for me to observe. I found it easier to record if I got involved into the environment as a customer. The line was long and the moving speed was slow, due to there was only couple staff. I guessed people didn’t want to spend too much time in food court. Therefore, the moving speed was improved. Get involved
Description of Setting Focusing Observations on the customers’ ordering behaviors: There was a Muslin girl standing in front of me. The black scarf covered her hair. She kept looking at those pizzas. When a staff asked her what she needed, she asked for a piece of pizza coming from a new pizza round, instead of those incomplete rounds. Unfortunately her request was rejected and then she left without buying anything. And the guy who standing in front of the Muslin girl, was listening to music and paying no attention to the staff. When the staff asked him, he selected randomly. The guy waited behind me didn’t look at the menu and pizza at all. I thought he has an idea already. However, as the staff asking him, he started to look up the menu, and considered there was a bunch of people waiting, and then he said, “classic pizza is fine”. Another girl staring the menu then those pizzas for the whole waiting time. She was a little bit fat. And she seemed like she didn’t really care about how she looked like.
Listen to music
Field note: Number 4
Date: October 22, 2014
Place: Bento Sushi, Food Court, University Centre
Observation time: 30 minutes
Personal Reflection: It was Wednesday that day. As it was getting closer to reading week, everyone had exams and paper due. I could tell that people around me were stressful. I had only COMM 2000 lecture at 4 pm. Since I had assignments of other courses to do, I went to the library around 9 o’clock in the morning. I was kind of sleepy and tired. Then I got a Starbucks drink and started studying. After couple hours, around 12 o’clock, I went to UC food court to get some food, as a relaxation. Sleepy
Description of setting: Bento Sushi belonged to the right side of the food court, which sold fast food. This part of food court was like a supermarket. Students were able to grab what they wanted and paid at the cashers. Bento Sushi was near by the cashers. There were plenty of boxes of sushi placing in order in the fridge. And there were various kinds of sushi for students to choose, such as avocado roll, dynamite roll, mini vegetable rolls, rainbow roll, and pomegranate California roll. Fast food
Personal Reflection: I was walking around the Bento Sushi. Sometimes I opened the fridge that was filled in with various drinks. Sometimes I talked to my friends standing by the sushi fridge. Even though the food court was warm, I felt cold since I was next to couple fridges. And later I bought a sandwich and ate it. Then I was no longer feeling hungry. It was not awkward at all, because I didn’t observe individuals by watching them and writing things down. I was pretending talking to my friends or texting to someone instead. Pretend attractive
Description of Setting Focusing Observations on the customers’ ordering behaviors: The first one I recorded was a girl who wore a red short dress and a pair of black high heel shoes. She was alone, and looked hurry. She walked toward the Bento sushi as she went to the food court. When she was right in front of the fridge, she grabbed the California rolls and left. The second one was a boy. He wore a dark jacket. And there was a fashion sunglasses hanging in his T-shirt. He came with a girl, who seemed like his girlfriend. He asked her which one she liked more. After a gentle discussion, they picked up two boxes of avocado roll. Then there were three girls came. They dressed in different types. The girl with curly hair, walked in the middle. She wore a yellow sweater and jeans. She was telling the other two girls that sushi was a good choice if they were losing weight. Then both of the two girls nodded and picked up the kind that the “middle” girl grabbed. The last one was a Chinese girl, which was one of my friends. She stood there for couple minutes. And then she asked me which one tasted better. Lady-dressed
Follow other’s opinion
There is a question: have you ever noticed the differences in ordering behaviors between men and women? It is not related to the differences in eating habits, but in making decisions. Personally speaking, ordering foods is a process of making decisions. Which restaurant does an individual tend to go? Which meals does he want to eat? What would make him change his mind when he was thinking? He must decide them all before he eats. Furthermore, males and female usually make decisions differently, due to the way they consider differently. This observation, however, reveals the differences in how men and women order foods. From the result of this observations and the analysis of them, it is clear to see the diversity of ordering behaviors between genders reflects their ways in making decisions.
Nowadays a significant phenomenon in society is that most of decision makers are males. Some people may consider the main factor is “male oriented” bias existing in our daily lives (Marino et al., 2011). The bias may lead us to believe that men always do better than women. Even though there are couple excellent females holding the authority of making decisions, it is a minority of the whole society. On the other hand, however, the phenomenon mentioned above may be the effect of the diversity of making decisions between genders.
It is proven that there are differences between male’s and female’s brain. Their brains differ in shaping and functions, resulting in the fact that their actions and reactions are different from one another. In this observation, the differences in making decisions between men and women will be explored, though the behaviors recorded as they are ordering foods.
The four observations occurred in UC food court. Thus the subjects that I observed were students. I chose to observe respectively the customers of Spring Rolls, Subway, and Pizza Pizza, Bento Sushi. Mostly I observed during lunchtime. I was a complete observer as I did the first observation, because I didn’t consider that it would be much easier to record those behaviors of customers if I got involved. Therefore, I was a participant observer when I observed the second time and the third. However, Bento Sushi was unlike the others. I was a complete observer as people were not necessary to wait in line to get a box of sushi. The observations were recorded by texting on my cell phones except the observation 1. I wasn’t interrupted because the subjects didn’t know I was doing an observation. I found it more comfortable that recording those details by my cell phone because of the less of awkward feeling.
By analyzing the ordering behaviors of boys and girls, I suppose that if they are not choosing what they eat, but making real decisions in their lives, then what those behaviors reflect the differences in making decisions in their lives?
Codes from four observations: description of setting focusing observations on the customers ordering behaviors
1. Short hair, prepared, patient/ attractive, hesitative/ attractive, impatient, fast, prepared/ considerate, care/ skinny, didn’t think, not sure
2. Serious-look, contemplative/ alone, listen to music, relax, prepared/ dark-blue sweater, new, curious, careful, nervous/ discussing
3. Muslin dressed, extra request, get rejected, left/ listen to music, select randomly, careless/ considerate, careful, thinking, fat.
4. Lady-dressed, fashion, alone, prepared, decisive, hurry/ dark jacket, fashion, discussed/ curly hair, yellow sweater, goal-directed/ follow other’s opinion/ non-decided, irresolute
Emotion: patient, impatient, alone, relax, curious, nervous,
Appearance: short hair, skinny, serious-look, dark-blue sweater, Muslin-dressed, fat, lady-dressed, fashion, dark jacket, curly hair, and yellow sweater
Attractive behaviors: kept clicking phones, talking to friends, listening to music, contemplative thinking,
Reactions: prepared, order fast, hesitative, considerate, careful, not sure, randomly order, careless, discussing, extra request, left after getting rejected, thinking, decisive, goal-directed, irresolute
During the four observation periods, I found that men were more easily to get attractive when there were waiting in line. Boys, however, often came prepared and acted impatiently. They liked to listen to music, or talk to their friends. Meanwhile, girls were more likely to be concentrated to think about what to order. In other words, girls acted more hesitative than boys. However, there were couple exceptions. A girl, who was fashion and lady-dressed, knew exactly what herself needed. Another girl with curly hair was goal-directed and decisive. She explained the reason why she chose sushi as her lunch to her friends. Furthermore, girls liked to check their phones when they were waiting alone.
In conclusion, males are more likely to have their decisions made before ordering foods. Females usually consider the alternative choices when they are waiting in line. In addition, compared with females, males are more impatient and easier to get attractive when they are waiting in line. However, those girls who are lady-dressed and exquisite in make-up often know exactly what they want. For these type of girls, they are decisive and manful enough to get prepared before ordering.
As what I mentioned in the introduction, ordering foods is a process of making decisions. The way that genders order reflects the way they make decisions. Thereby the differences between genders in making decisions will be discovered from the differences between them in ordering behaviors. For instance, males are more likely to be decisive when they are ordering, which means they may be more decisive when they are making a decision in their lives. Another example showing that boys appear to care less about what they order and how foods taste. In other words, boys may not consider the results of the decisions they make. The phenomenon that genders act and react differently in ordering foods can be a considerable evidence of exploring the diversity of making decisions between genders.
Marino, M., Masella, R., Bulzomi P., Campesi, I., Malorni, W., & Franconi, F. (2011). Nutrition and human health from a sex–gender perspective. Molecular Aspects of Medicine. Vol. 32, No. 1, pp. 1-70