This seminar will introduce students to the journalistic techniques of immersion journalism. The methodology examines contemporary social phenomena through the lives of individuals and families gathered by repeat interviews. Students will learn the techniques by doing an actual project of their own choosing. Students will have to recruit a participant, interview the person extensively with digital recorder, transcribe the interviews, and write a midterm and final paper based on the interviews. The interview methodology students will use is seen as the best way to provide the ethnographer/writer/reporter/oral historian with insight into social phenomena. The methodology can be used to examin the living conditions, family history and attitudes of any ethnic group at any class level--wealthy, affluent, middle class, poor or underclass. The student with an insatiable curiosity about human behavior will be able to extract from willing participants surprising revelations about their needs, desires and motivations. Importantly, the student will learn how the personalities, the circumstances, and the choices made by a participant's parents and forebears still have bearing on the life of the participant today.
Evaluation: Paper/Project. Students will learn the techniques taught in this course by doing an actual project of choice. Students will have to recruit a participant, interview the person extensively with digital recorder, transcribe the interviews, and write a midterm and final paper based on the interviews.