From a fieldworking perspective, I want to study issues that focus on equity here at East Carolina University. Some issues include:
- Male vs. female professors
- The amount of black people that work in the cafeteria
- Older professors vs. younger professors
- English as a first language professors vs. English as a second language professors
- The amount of opportunities provided at East Carolina University to learn about other cultures
- The amount of multicultural student organizations offered at East Carolina University
- The amount of multicultural students in an honor society
- How one might start their own student organization for their culture
- Those involved in Greek Life
- High school students of Pitt County
The three issues that I am most interested in further researching from my list above include: the amount of opportunities provided at East Carolina University to learn about other cultures, the amount of multicultural student organizations offered at East Carolina University, and how one might start their own student organization for their culture if it does not already exist as an organization. To step in to learn more about a culture’s rituals, rules, behaviors, and languages, I would have to get to know the people of the culture. I could do this by making conversation, befriending, and interviewing them. I could also find some information online, but I would verify it by asking an actual individual of that culture to make sure the information obtained online was true. To step out to gain a more distanced perspective on that group’s ways of being and operating, I would look up some of the individual’s included in this group on facebook.com.
Some problems that I may encounter while researching a multicultural topic include: not being able to understand what an individual is either saying or what exactly they might mean, a cultural disconnect between my culture and theirs, and by having to take myself out of my social context and put myself in theirs.
Starting out with this fieldwork, I will most likely not have a lot in common with the culture that I decide to research, so at first, I may feel that I do not have a place in the culture. However, if I decided to research the amount of opportunities provided at East Carolina University to learn more about other cultures, I may actually be faced with a less culturally diverse group of students since I would most likely attend the classes offered at East Carolina University to learn about other cultures. Although I would be learning about other cultures, I am not sure that I would be surrounded by people of another culture. If I were to do this study, then my place in the culture would be a student. Choosing to study the amount of multicultural student organizations offered at East Carolina University would probably put me right in the middle of multicultural students. At first, I would feel like I had no place in this culture, but, hopefully, after getting to know those who are involved and getting a chance to further research the topic, I would feel more like I had a place in their culture. I might actively contribute my insight and ideas (where they are needed), and I will also contribute my support by helping them as if I am, myself, an active member of the multicultural student organization. By further researching how one might start their own student organization at East Carolina University for their culture if it does not already exist as an organization, I might feel like I have more of a place in their culture by possibly being able to help the student start their own multicultural student organization. By possibly helping out a student to start their own multicultural student organization, I will have given back to their community by helping them to gain recognition and to bring those who share the same culture together. I would actively contribute my support by helping the student get their organization started and by temporarily becoming an active member of the multicultural student organization. I thought of this particular topic by browsing the East Carolina University website and looking up the multicultural organizations that already exist. There are only eleven of these multicultural student organizations. It seemed to me that there was plenty of room for more student organizations that place their value in being multicultural.