Anthropologyrefers to the study aspects of human life in present and historicalcontexts. It also involves the study of social norms and values thatare associated with specific groups within the society (Fedorak 23).Various methods are used to collect data with regards to the humanactions. These include observations, and interviews and observations.Observation does not involve intrusion into the privacy of the targetgroup. The researcher is tasked with observing the community andrecording their findings (Fedorak 17). Later, they analyze andreflect on the actions of the participating community. Interviews andquestionnaires, on the other hand, focus on the use of language(Fedorak 22). The research process is initiated through open-endedinterviews. Such interviews can be conducted individually or throughfocus groups. In this paper, the researcher observes the behaviors ofindividuals attending a music festival held in the local communityhall.
Those inattendance ranged from eighteen to twenty-four years. The concert hadbeen organized for high school and college students who wereproceeding for the summer break. As one of the students within theage bracket and learning institution, the event provided me with anopportunity to study the behavioral characteristics of my peers.Therefore, I prepared myself for the task ahead by bringing two ofclosest friends to assist me in case the event would turnunmanageable as had been in the past. As is common with most of theevents that are held during the summer break, the function took placein an open ground. Since it was a free show for all the students inhigh school and college, the turnout was exemplary.
The stage was setand raised above the dance floor. There was myriad of disco lightsboth on the stage and the area of the event. The party-goers came indifferent costumes and it being during the summer, light clothing wasthe norm despite the event being held late in the evening. All theparticipants were issued with rainbow-colored handkerchiefs and headscarves to promote tolerance towards all forms of sexuality. In away, I realized that the function would also act as an LGBT campaign.
Initially, thefunction began by acknowledging the presence of important dignitariessuch as the organizers of the events and the corporate sponsors.During this period, music was played in the background at lowervolume thereby enabling the masters of ceremony to communicate withthe audience. Everyone was reminded of the need to take care ofthemselves and refrain from activities that would be harmful. Asupport center had been set at one of the peripheries of the site ofthe event and anyone with a problem was encouraged to seek help fromthose tents.
The announcementthat the event was officially open was greeted with cheers from theattendees. They were encouraged to wave the colored handkerchiefsthat they had been given at the entrance. The noise levels reachedfever pitch as the moment everyone had anticipated finally arrived.With the disc jockey on the stage, the venue changed from a clamground to a high-energetic platform where the high school studentsdisplayed their dance techniques. The electronic dance music (EDM)was a popular choice among those in attendance, and no one wanted tobe left behind.
After about onehour of continuous performances, some of the students were too tiredto continue and found areas to sit. It was at this moment that Inoted that some of them were intoxicated. The water bottles that werestrewn all over the ground had been used to sneak alcohol into thepark. Others were brave enough to smoke within publicly despite anearly announcement that had stated the event organizers would notallow alcohol and other drugs during the event. The closing stages ofthe event witnessed a rejuvenated crowd as some of those who haddecided to take their seats joined in the final dance. By the timethe event came to an end, more than two-and-a-half hours had elapsed.I then decided to finalize my note-taking activities to ensure thatno detail would be missed in the analysis of the behavioralcharacteristics of the participants.
Before the eventwas declared officially open, students conversed freely with oneanother. Most of them were in groups, and they would move from onelocation to the other. The conversation involved shouting since musicwas playing in the background. An individual would make a statement,and the rest would burst into laughter. However, when the disc jockeytook the stage, the noise levels almost made it impossible to have aconversation. The earlier groups had disintegrated, and it was nolonger possible to have a normal conversation. People were forced totalk into the ears of one another to pass a point. There were alsouses of written language during the event. The huge banners wereattractive and gave various forms of communication such asdirections, and the theme of the occasion.
There was astandard dress code among those who attended the music concert. Eventhough the event was scheduled for the late hours of the evening,most of the individuals wore loosely fitting attires. The ladies camein spaghetti tops and hot pants. On the other hand, the boys woret-shirts and shorts. The choice of clothing could have beeninfluenced by two factors on this day. First, the summer weather wasbeing experienced. Despite the timing of the event, it was hot andhumid.
Secondly, overthe years, it has become a norm for those attending the summer musicconcerts to dress in a particular way. Therefore, dressing in aparticular manner would make one be seen as fashion-conscious andout-going. The multi-colored shirts were also an indication that theevent organizers would be advocating for the rights of gays,lesbians, and transgender during the event. Therefore, the eventwould be used as a campaign for tolerance towards the sexuality ofothers. For the disc jockey and other on-stage performers, theirattire included various leather jackets with gothic-themedaccessories. It has become a trend among the EDM enthusiasts to gofor the gothic-inspired looks, and that was the case during theevent.
Despite theorganizers indicating that the event was an opportunity to welcomethe summer season, most of those in attendance had sharedcharacteristics. First, they were all students with some being incollege and the others a step lower. Secondly, they were within thesame age bracket and as such, were likely to be able to interactfreely. However, not all individuals with similar characteristicsattended the music concert.
It is, therefore,evident that one’s presence during the event was an indication oftheir status. Therefore, participating in the occasion was viewed asone way of conforming to the expectations of a particular group. Itis for this reason that before the commencement of the concert, theymoved around in groups. Each group had a particular uniting factor.These unifying variables might have been different for each cluster.For instance, some of the teams may have hanged out together as aresult of being members of the same football team, others were in thecheerleader`s squad, whereas some could have been united by theirlove for house music.
The choice of thedisco lights was also aimed at improving the quality of the eventaltogether. During the concert, the light would focus on a particularlocation and people would scream as soon as they appeared on thelarge screen. This was a way of improving the experience of thestudents attending the concert. Everyone anticipated the moment theirimages would splash on the big screens strategically positioned, andas such, they were alert during the event.
Anthropologyinvolves the analysis of human behavior in a given context. In someinstances, the researchers are required to live amongst the targetcommunity and learn their ways. However, through observations, anindividual can analyze the behaviors of others without invading theirprivate space. In this case, the study highlighted various behavioralfeatures of the students that attended the music concert. This wasreflected in the form of dressing and the modes of conversationbefore the event and as the show progressed. The outcomes can beassociated with the current trends among those between eighteen andtwenty-four years.
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Fedorak, Shirley. Anthropology Matters!, 2013.Print.
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