October 15, 2007

Students Study Their Own Class

We all know how institutions are supposed to work. Prisons punish/rehabilitate criminals, hospitals care for the sick, and schools educate. Yet, when we look more closely at how these aspects of our society actually function, we often find them fufilling other roles instead. That's one of the ways that anthropology and sociology are useful.

In that vein, here's a video that was made through the collaboration of an Intro to Cultural Anthro class at Kansas State University.

These students and their teacher Michael Wesch did an internal ethnography of their own class. To an outside observer, the world of the undergraduate does not look like one built for its stated intention of learning job skills. I remember when my anthro teacher said only half jokingly to my class, "You didn't come to this school to learn. You came to make sure that you don't marry outside your social class."

And as far as I know, none of us did.

(video via neatorama)

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