Why do so many researchers still treat race as a scientific concept? For your assignment this week, you will ask respondents about their definitions or understandings of race. In this article, an anthropologist asked scientists, too, for their definitions of race:
For this research assignment and paper, you will first survey 20 adult people of your choosing to ask them about their attitudes about race. Do not survey or interview children, inmates, or anyone else who cannot give legal or voluntary consent.
Please tell your adult respondents that you are completing a research project and paper for your online Cultural Anthropology course on people’s understandings of, and attitudes about, race.
Important: Your respondents must remain anonymous. To maintain their confidentiality, in your field notes, you must codify them and not list their names. You may number each subject or use initials instead, but no first or last names should be included.
Explain no more. If respondents do not understand any of the five questions, please ask them to simply answer to the best of their ability and understanding, and explain that you are unable to discuss the question any further, according to assignment requirements.
Ask each of the 20 people the following 5 questions, and no more, and record their responses in your field notes, which you will submit with your paper:
1) How many races are there?
2) What are those races? (Please list them.)
3) What is your race?
4) What is your gender?
5) What is your age?
Then, in a 3-to-4 page double-spaced paper, in Times New Roman 12 point font, no longer and no shorter, explain your results.
Do you observe any patterns of responses based on respondents’ cultures, sub-cultures, or any particular socioeconomic background?
- What about gender?
- What about age?
Do people of particular age groups respond in a similar way?
Why do you think you observed the responses that you did?
How do the responses compare to the anthropological understanding of race, or to what you have learned in this course in the weekly lessons or in the textbook?