Discuss ethnographic oral history/traditions – Homework Educator


You will conduct your own short ethnographic oral history/traditions research project by interviewing family members. You will be trying to find out more information about Emirati traditions among your own family. You could ask older family members about the past and compare it with today. Or, you might ask younger family members about their experiences now, and reflect as to whether they are similar to your own ideas about this tradition, or different. This project topic will be chosen by you – although you must relate to one of the themes for the class (such as gender, the state, work, race and ethnicity, globalization, kinship, marriage, etc).  Make sure you pick a topic that you can complete by interviewing a close family member, so that you stay safe during the pandemic.


First – you must think of a research topic!  For example, you might want to ask about what type of work was considered “women’s work” and “men’s work” forty years ago. You would be investigating  the topic of the division of labor. You might want to form a hypothesis – that the idea about what is considered women’s work has changed over the last forty years, for example.


You then must think, how can I research this question? I can ask my grandmother. You could prepare for her a series of questions related about her own work throughout her life. You could also ask her her own general thoughts on the topic.


Then, think about how you can more fully answer your question. Your grandmother has given her view – what about your grandfather? What does he say are women’s and men’s work? Also prepare a series of questions for him.


Then, analyze your data. What did you find out? Were you right? Did ideas about division of labor change?


Now it is time to write! Start with an introduction. What was your research question and hypothesis? Why was that interesting to you? What drew you to this? Was your question right, or after doing the research, do you have a new focus or topic come out?


Next – remember that an anthropologist must position themselves. What is your relationship to the person or people you interviewed? Do you have specific feelings about the topic? Have you discussed it with them before.



Next – write us your interview results. DO NOT just copy your interview word for word. Rather, create a narrative or story. Let your interviewees story show us the results of your research question or your topic. You should put in some quotes from your interviewee, but you should also say things in your own words. Here – you must include references, at least two, to topics we have studied in class.


You NEED to include some type of analysis and relate your findings to what you know about Emirati society more generally, and do not just relate to us what your family member says.




You will be graded on:

How well you meet all the above points

Whether you relate your topic to class material

Whether you create a narrative or just re-write interview questions

Whether you include your own positionality

How well-organized this paper is

Whether you add in your own analysis about your society