Observing and Describing Verbal and Nonverbal Communication

First, for 10-15 minutes, listen to (eavesdrop on) a conversation whose participants you cannot see. They might be sitting behind you on a bus or in a restaurant – you are close enough to hear them, but positioned so you cannot see them. Then, for 10-15 minutes, observe a conversation you cannot hear – one taking place, for example, on the other side of the campus quad. Even though you cannot hear what is being said, you can see the interaction as it takes place. Directions for the written description: Secondly, write an extremely detailed description of each conversation. Describe the participants and the setting, and include your ideas about what you think is going on and what you think you know about the participants. Try to describe everything you heard or saw to support any conclusions you draw. You MUST integrate sociological information from the book chapter on Methodology. For example, maybe you want to discuss your experiences as a form of ethnography, or qualitative methodology.

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