Possible choices for last fieldwork or research paper

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Possible choices for last fieldwork or research paper
This paper should be at least two pages long (it can also be longer), double spaced, 1-inch margins,
and 12 point type. It should include in-text citations of sources as well as a works cited page or
bibliography.
1. Spend time in a group experimenting with violation of proxemic rules, or simply watching
people follow (or not) proxemic rules. You can do this with others in the class and compare
notes. Take notes about what you observe. Write a paper describing what you saw, including
the setting, the people involved (gender, age, ethnicity etc.) and the rules that were violated (or
not). How did people maintain their proxemic ‘territory’ or ‘bubble’? Did the setting influence
rules differently than another setting might? How do your observations compare with Edward
Hall’s ‘measurements’ of proxemic behaviors, as described in your text book, AOL. (You can recreate this assignment. Simply make sure you include observation methods and proxemic
‘theory’ in your design.)
2. Choose a language and research its ‘family’ history and relationships to other languages.
Describe the sources and influences of language change for the language group of your choice.
3. Practice discourse analysis by finding an example of talking or speech making or discussion that
you can examine word for word. In this case, look for logics of equivalence and logics of
difference that either construct enemies or adversaries. Understand Laclau and Mouffe’s theory
of these logics so that you can explain performances of power in the discourse example of your
choice. What are the outcomes connected with ‘how’ people express, resist, and consume
power discourse in relation to authoritarianism or more democratic influences? (We will talking
about this early next week, so you will know more about what is meant by logics of equivalence
and logics of difference.)
4. Consider the power of personhood attribution in two youtube examples. For this discourse
analysis exercise you will need to transcribe the examples that you use from these videos and
describe in detail the context of each video. To describe the context, think of Hymes’s S-P-E-A-KI-N-G acronym. What did you find? What do the examples tell you about how people ‘think’
about persons? Etc. etc. (We will be talking about this early on next week, so you will know
more about what is meant by attributions of personhood.)
5. In the spirit of the very interesting class debate on Friday, June 3, consider the following quote
from Linguist Jeffrey Wollock’s chapter in the book On Biocultural Diversity Linking Language,
Knowledge, and the Environment. Edited by Luisa Maffi
In his chapter titled Linguistic Diversity and Biodiversity: Some Implications for the Language Sciences,
Wollock wrote:
The cause of the environmental crisis is not industrial and military pollution,
excessive resource extraction and harvesting, or an economic system that
maximizes energy use, distorts local economic priorities, and spurs growth of
huge urban slums. These are only symptoms. The real cause of the
environmental crisis is a particular way of thinking. The state of the world's
environment is, as it were, experimental proof that there is something
fundamentally wrong with this way of thinking, today strongly reflected in
most of the world's dominant languages. There is nothing eternally necessary
about this, nor is it necessarily due to anything inherent in the structure of
these languages. English, Spanish, French, German, Japanese, Chinese,
Russian, and others all possess resources of expression that are now excluded
from serious discourse when it comes to the major decisions that affect the
lives of millions. No, the problem lies in the concrete historical evolution of
rhetoric in these languages and the present expression, in them, of destructive
ways of thinking (or not thinking) that guide the decisive actions of the day.
(Wollock 2001:248)
Consider Wollock’s statement and find two articles (they are usually quite short) in the online
publication called Cultural Survival about two language groups and their linguistic connection to
environmental knowledge. Describe the circumstances in the articles (using quotes and citations
attributing sources). How do the articles help you understand or help you critique Wollock’s statement
about language and its connection to dominant ideologies that may or may not be problematic in
environmental problem solving?
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