When the written report brings in something substantially and significantly beyond what I learned about your project from your presentation, I alter the component grades for M (methods) and / or C (content). Usually, I evaluate the report separately and calculate the average (the average points for the presentation plus the report - divided into two)
80-100: excellent (5); where 90 and more is outstanding work (5+)
76-79: very good (4+)
66-75: good (4)
61-65: adequate (3+)
51-60: fair (3)
The Authors are welcome to make extensive use of the reviews to conduct additional research and/or provide reflection on research already carried out, in order to include in the final report in order and improve the grade.
Form (F); Method (M); Contents (C)
18/04 Non-participant observation
(1) PB, JG, JB, KA: Kaufland
Strenghts: At times excellent ethnographic state of mind (turning everyday space into unknown and interesting field of observation); at times excellent distance; some excellent stories from the field; at times thick description; good focus on constructing social relationships and people; good composition of observation schedule; reflexivity; some excellent thick description; some deep empathy as result of distanced observation (excellent job!); some interpretations explained (such as: why a group of people was interpreted as being a family, reflexive modifier added: "wydaje mi się"/ it seems to me..."); audience interested (good questions asked)
Weaknesses: No/ weak coherence; part of the fieldwork too superficial and brief (non participant observer should not take upon her- or himself roles from within the field, such as shopping); fragmented account - the emergence of patterns was not sufficiently made use of/ demonstrated; some evaluations ("eleganckie ubranie"/ elegantly dressed") instead of description; some strong evaluations (the cashier was described as having an appropriate attitude - judgement from a managerial point of view)
Report: Excellent narratives from observation; improved original grade on Method; I shall be happy to publish your report on my website after further anonymization if you are interested.
In all: 90, 5+, outstanding
(2) SG, DP, WG & KP: Pedestrian crossings
Strenghts: very good idea for topic and framing of field (organized urban space); some very good short stories from the field, especially "extended hand" story with excellent potential; good composition of observation schedule; some very good attempts at keeping distance; very good distanced/ behavioural narrative with few interpretations and very few evaluations; some reflexivity; audience interested (good questions asked)
Weaknesses: the potential of the field not fulfilled; thick description lacking (too much focus on counting behaviours which is not an ethnographic concern); observations too short to allow for emergence of rich material; the observations, if carried out for a longer time, could enable to distinguish patterns of social behaviour (how is social space created at pedestrian crossings?), but, unfortunately, they were cut short of deeper insight
Report: well written, clear and persuasive
In all: 77, 4+ very good
(3) ML, PK, PW, AK: Marketplaces
Strengths: vivid presentation, interesting films and pictures created by the Authors; good grasp of functionality of space; good idea to contrast two marketplaces with different history and identity; some use of different senses; good composition of observation schedule; reflexivity (instead of evaluating, Authors sometimes did the right thing and described their own feelings: "czułam sie przytłoczona"/ "I felt overwhelmed"); some good distanced/ behavioural description; some attempts to explain where interpretations come from ("friendly service" with example showing what is meant by category); focus on people promising; some reflection on method; audience interested (good questions asked)
Weaknesses: very weak coherence of plots/ patterns; what is the common emerging picture?; quite many evaluations (strong esthetic statements such as ""piękne słoiki"/ "beautiful jars", "sprzedawcy dbaja o estetykę"/ "vendors take care about the esthetic side [of the stalls]", "nieprzyjemny zapach"/ "unpleasant smell", etc); some instances of jumping to interpretation without explaining where categories come from; the interesting focus on people not consequently maintained
Report: bardzo mocna część z opisem obserwacji - styl behawioralny, bez ocen, uporządkowana w sposób który ułatwi późniejszą interpretację (wokół centralnych "zalążków" kategorii); elementy autorefleksji.
In all: 79, 5- (excellent minus)
9/05 Direct observation
(1) KS, KM & AG: Coffeehouse
Strengths: interesting presentation; good photos; final dialogic part very good: excellent questions from the audience (incisive, helpful and pertinent); thoughtful answers to the questions
Weaknesses: direct observation is a method of gaining knowledge of some relational or structural aspects of the field: which aspect was observed and why? no clear focus of study. Study did not add knowledge about work, customs, roles or rituals. No knowledge added that could not be derived from everyday experience. No observations, only evaluations (made from the point of view of management? management consultants?), some of them quite forceful (nice/ not nice/ too many people working/ not sufficiently fast/ clean etc); weak and "thin" material; weak conclusions (not rooted in material)
How to improve the study: The final dialogic part of the presentation helped to bring forward some of the project's potential strengths and the Authors' reflexivity. Therefore the "form" has been granted many points. However, to improve this project, additional research is needed. Consider either: 1) observing a cafe (perhaps a different one) from an employee's point of view (one of the students works in a bar/cafe, maybe she could help you with the observation), or 2) observing the visitors, their behaviour, customs, queues, etc from the point of view of a traditional Bronisław Malinowski-style cultural anthropologist: "the customs of a cafe visit", what people do in a coffehouse?, what is a cafe customer? The study needs to add knowledge which you did not have before you engaged in it.
Report: Much improved: reflexivity, observations well described; strengthened original score on method
In all: 71, good (4)
(1) MI, NW, PK & JG: Minority community in Poland
Strengths: Excellent interview - open, reflexive, empathic (well done for not following a plan despite temptation!); very nice and clear presentation; group listens, good questions; good grasp of context; excellent use of lived history; humanistic approach, i.e. how to listen to the human perspective; some reflexivity of methods; very evokative; good conclusions concerning material and communication
Weaknesses: Interview should be anonymous, even if interviewee okay with revealing identity; too much reliance on chronology in interpretation/ categorization; not really plots; "interviewee" - not "respondent"
Comments: One person performed interview whole remaining group members transcribed the entire interview - therefore evidence that all group members have learned how to do an interview
Report: the transcript shows that the interview has been conducted correctly: a conversation where the interviewee gets more space, communication, trust, mutual respect, empathy. What could be done better: questions should follow up themes in what the interviewee says better -instead of pre-planned topics the interviewer should take up plots and themes that the interviewee mentions; ask for stories and experiences that illustrate the interviewee's opinions! "what actually happened", can you give an example etc.
In all: 80 = 5 (excellent)
(2) KB, PO, KW: Social enterprise
Strengths: Summary in English for Erasmus students; good presentation of context; topic well defined; good attempt at problem definition; methods well presented and explained; fair attempt at triangulation (employees vs local community; interview vs observation during interview); nice thematic ordering of material; very interesting material - relevant, interesting; sensitive and compassionate approach; good contact with interviewees - well done!; good flow of presentation, group interested and asking pertinent questions; reflexivity - the role of the researcher problematized, awareness of difficulties and problems; some very good stories; some good conclusions
Weaknesses: Just one client interviewed; some less fortunate instances of wording ("pomimo to"), as if disabled people were not likely to be fully dedicated employees; street interviews cursory and brief - good as a collection of performative definitions but insufficient as source of deeper insight (there were some exceptions, however, despite the brevity some people did share their experience with you); the slogan you used to confront the street interviewees was not a successful approach; problems with understanding the role of experiential truth - how to grasp it and how to engage with it in ethnographic material; in ethnography we do not speak of "respondents" but "interlocutors", "interviewees", "informants";
Report: Even improved reflection on the study; strengthened notes on observation; excellent reflexivity; strenghtened pre-categorization (content).
I shall be happy to publish your report on my website after further anonymization if you are interested.
In all = 90, (5+) outstanding
(3) IS, PR, MS: Erasmus students
Strengths: Nice presentation, good and clear communication, well prepared and well performed; good choice of overall theme; good contact with interviewees; interesting perspective - in-between cultures; audience interested and very good comment
Weaknesses: Not ethnographic interviews (no demonstrated familiarity with method); research problem - cultural differences - not possible to explore by chosen methods; interviews very brief; question too abstract; the same material repeated twice during presentation: film snippets and summary (the latter brought no additional insight); conclusions not ethnographic; no demonstrated grasp of ethnography as research methodology and/or approach
Report: Clarification of topic; comprehensive and orderly presentation of material
In all: 62, (3+), adequate
(1) SDF: Social relations
Strengths: Very good description of context - "the Erasmus bubble"; good problematization of social relations, understanding of social dynamics; excellent reflexivity: personal and methodological; very solid grasp of method - use of autoethnography to its limits; illuminating insights; awareness of ethical issues; profound questions and bold thinking; use of different sources; good critical understanding of limitations and problems; excellent analysis of material and categorization; dynamic analysis of process; good use of theory; really appreciated the literary references :-) ;
Weaknesses: Analytical approach and therefore bordering on emotional/ affective reductionism (albeit Author aware of it); some tendency of process "flow over" into semblance of synchronic generalization (the "phases" are not states - not always obvious from presentation)
Report: Improved reflection; strengthened notes on observation; excellent reflexivity; strenghtened pre-categorization (content).
I shall be happy to publish your report on my website after further anonymization if you are interested.
In all: 91, outstanding (5+)
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