Participant Observation Assignment

Participant Observation Assignment Words: 1120

Practice Assignment I I went to the Red or White Ball for Stepparents Theatre this weekend. It was a Friday night event for young professionals. Proceeds from the Red or White Ball benefit Stepparents for Young Adults, the theater’s nationally recognized arts education program which annually impacts over 1 5,000 students, teachers and families. I observed participants at the event. I chose this event because I wanted to watch the crowd. I enjoy going to dress up events and enjoying the atmosphere.

When I arrived at the event, I came alone and knew I was eventually going to meet up with a friend who was also attending the event. The location of the ball was at Architectural Artifacts, a large facility where antiques are sold and great events are held. The walls are exposed brick and the room is a loft like room that has extremely high ceilings with an opening where there are about 7 stories of open levels, which is structured much like Macy’s on State Street but not nearly as ornate. There was an open dance floor and three open side rooms where the food and bars were located.

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Two of the side rooms were flanking the dance floor to the right and left, while the third side room was behind the dance floor where there were many tables with silent auction items were displayed. There were also seating areas throughout the rooms so patrons could sit, eat, and converse with one another. My friend had not arrived yet so I walked through the rooms, had a bite to eat, and got myself a drink. As I milled around, I smiled and looked at the auction items. People seemed absorbed with their companions and the auction. I felt anxious and frustrated as no one would open their circle to me.

I decided then to sit in one of the chairs which was placed between the dance floor and the back room. It was one of two chairs with a side table to set ones drinks or snacks. An older gentleman asked if he could sit down, and I replied of course. The man who sat next to me was an older gentleman, I guess in his sixties, and said he couldn’t hear with all of the loud music. He was carrying a purse, a notebook, and a pile of papers. He was watching a woman with short, white, slicked back hair who was being video tapped. She was standing in front of one of the auction tables for what I assume was a promotional or educational idée.

I assume this woman was his wife, and I know that she is a socialite because I have seen her at other events Eve attended. I tried to engage the fellow in a conversation but he was too busy people watching. One person in particular he had his eye on was a rather skinny woman with a bunch of tattoos. When the woman being filmed completed her talk, the man got out of his chair and told her to look for the tattooed woman. I am not sure if this couple knew the woman or not, but I found it peculiar his interest in this woman. I Nils Incident took place In a matter AT II minutes.

I nee wangle tale I sat tender next to that guy, I felt strange because the seats were arranged to encourage conversation. There had been a few other people sitting there before me and they were engaged. I wonder if the guy even noticed me after he sat down. I wonder if anyone noticed me since people were so engrossed in their own conversations. I felt like an outsider and wonder if people could see the anxiety on my face. I was walking around by myself looking for someone and I wonder if people even noticed me. If they did, what was it they were thinking? While I was waiting for my friend, I was looking at people’s hospice of dress.

The patrons were dressed in snappy attire, as this was not a black tie event. The men were watching the women and the women were dressed up for each other. There were sequins dresses, black dresses, short dresses, as a matter of fact, I believe I saw one woman in pants. The majority of the men were wearing sport coats or dress shirts. There were a few people that stuck out, were wearing things that did not fit the norm. There was one woman who had a turquoise gown on that had a train. A guy had on a suit with read high top sneakers, and another woman had a tutee black and white polka dotted dress with knee high lace up Chuck Taylor.

The crowd was primarily comprised of people in their late twenties to early sixties. There were affluent society types and young professionals in attendance. It appeared that groups of people came to this event as there was not much mingling and interaction between clusters of people. There were mostly Caucasian guests I would say approximately 85%, ten percent African American. There was little interaction between the two groups as said before, the groups did not mingle with hardly anyone outside the group they came with or came to see. If I were to study this gathering, I would focus on what brought these people to come.

This event was to benefits “Stepparents for Young Adults which is a comprehensive educational initiative that annually serves 15,000 students, teachers and families. The program provides access to the theatre for a broad base of Chicago youth, ages 12 – 19, and schools throughout the Chicago metropolitan area with a strong focus on partnering with Chicago Public Schools. ” I would ask the parameters if they knew what the proceeds went to, if they cared. I would want to know if they themselves are involved n any other school or theatre related charities and if they participate with Stepparents in any other capacity.

I would also want to know how they found out about this event and how many events they might go to in a calendar year. I believe these questions are important because it would show why the people came to the event and it would show whether they were there for the party or if they were there to do a good deed. I would have to gather information by possibly having the participants fill out a quick survey or work with the auxiliary board to see who they are trying to get to the event.

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Participant Observation Assignment. (2022, Mar 15). Retrieved July 21, 2024, from