Conduct a 50-60 minute participant observation of an interaction with another person or in a public space where they are a majority member. You may observe a direct interaction with another person (e.g., family member, friend, significant other, colleague, peer, other); select a public place to overhear the social exchanges of others; or select a video documentary or interview.
- Focus on identifying ONE observed social phenomenon from Myer Part Three Social Influence (Modules 12-21) and ONE observed social phenomenon from Myer Part Four Social Relations (Modules 22-31).
- Written paper: Write a 2-3 page summary with APA text citations in standard, 12-point, Times New Roman font, double-spaced. Describe the participant observation generally. Identify and explain the social phenomenon in your own words. Using the observation as evidence, explain using direct quotes and description for why this fits this social phenomenon. Conclude with your own reflection of what the experience was like, how you felt during this activity, how it was to see the social phenomena happening “in real life,” how it compared to reading about it in the textbook and include ethical reasoning.
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As a medical professor, my responsibility is to design and conduct assignments and examinations for medical college students. In addition, I also evaluate student performance and provide feedback to help them enhance their knowledge and skills in the field of medicine. In this role, it is crucial to create assignments that challenge students to think critically and apply their theoretical knowledge to real-life situations. The following answer provides a suggested response for the given assignment prompt.
In my participant observation, I chose to focus on a direct interaction between two family members. The social phenomenon from Myer Part Three Social Influence that I observed was conformity, while the social phenomenon from Myer Part Four Social Relations was prejudice.
During the observation, I noticed that when the family members were discussing a certain topic, one of them started expressing an opinion that was different from their own beliefs. However, instead of standing firm on their own beliefs, the other family member quickly changed their stance to match that of the first family member. This behavior of conforming to the opinion of the majority can be clearly linked to the concept of conformity discussed in Myer Part Three Social Influence.
To support this observation, one of the family members explicitly stated, “I never really cared about this before, but after hearing your opinion, I realize that I should align myself with it.” This direct quote showcases the individual’s willingness to change their initial stance and conform to the opinion of the other family member.
In addition to conformity, I also observed instances of prejudice during the interaction. One family member made derogatory remarks about a certain ethnic group, making generalizations and expressing negative stereotypes. This behavior reflects the social phenomenon of prejudice discussed in Myer Part Four Social Relations.
For example, the family member stated, “You know, those people are lazy and always expect handouts from others.” This statement demonstrates the individual’s prejudiced beliefs and reflects a biased view based on stereotypes.
Reflecting on this experience, it was fascinating to witness these social phenomena happening in real life. Reading about conformity and prejudice in the textbook provided me with theoretical knowledge, but observing it firsthand allowed me to see the complexities and nuances involved. It was a powerful reminder of how social influence and social relations shape human behavior.
Furthermore, witnessing prejudice in action made me feel uncomfortable and disappointed. It served as a reminder of the negative consequences of such attitudes and beliefs. It also reinforced the importance of challenging and addressing prejudice in society.
From an ethical standpoint, it is crucial to recognize the harm that conformity and prejudice can cause. Conformity can lead to the suppression of individual thoughts and values, while prejudice perpetuates discrimination and inequality. As future medical professionals, it is our responsibility to promote diversity, inclusivity, and evidence-based decision-making.
In conclusion, this participant observation provided a valuable opportunity to witness and analyze the social phenomena of conformity and prejudice. It allowed me to connect theoretical concepts from the textbook to real-life situations, enhancing my understanding of human behavior. It also highlighted the ethical imperative to actively challenge prejudice and promote social harmony in medical practice.
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