The Churchill Room A Mini-Ethnographic Analysis

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The Churchill Room
A mini-ethnographic essay

There is no doubt that ethnographic studies can vary in terms of scope, details presented, audience targeted, researching skills of the writer, objectives aimed at and several other associated motives. Primarily aiming at acquiring the benefits of developing what Clifford Geertz calls as “thick description” in his book The Interpretation of Cultures (1993), this essay will examine the daily activities in a public space called the Churchill Room at Goodenough College in London. The Churchill Room is a massive room with a high curved roof and beautifully decorated walls in Goodenough College. Moreover, its shiny floor, partly covered by laterally organised wooden
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In some instances, an observation sitting in the comfortable chairs in the room with the purpose of understanding what happens in there may seem quite simplistic in its nature and practice. Such unintelligent assumptions, however, may not always be definitive. Characteristically, an ethnographic reconnaissance in the Churchill Room could be as complex as studying exotic communities in the Amazon of Brazil or primitive ways of life in rural areas of Western Africa. Giving attention to the relationship between the space, users, and ongoing activities, therefore, carefully selected scenarios have been examined with a sufficient depth in the essay. Indeed, this essay aims to shed light on the multifaceted interplay of ‘social reality’ vs ‘supernatural imagination’ vs ‘space’ in the Churchill Room based on my own exploration. More precisely, the essay focuses on a description of social interactions, religious activities and the Churchill Room as a hosting space with progressively critical …show more content…
Inspired by the previous observations, I visited the extraordinary room expecting new activities of social interaction for three consecutive days before I finalised the observation. However, the last three visits were devoted to learning from notice boards, furniture and other materials in the room. By the last sentence, obviously, I mean the room was empty in all the three last observations. Left alone, I dared to look for information on the walls, furniture, and a notice board to have an understanding of what actually the room is built for. Remarkably crucial to mention, even the design, the walls, decorations, and furniture of the Churchill Room speak if one listens to them carefully. For example, I read a poster that says “Her Majesty the Queen will be visiting Goodenough College on the afternoon of Thursday the 1st December 2016” on the notice board at the entrance of the glorious room. Collectively, the poster, pictures of royal family pinned on the walls and the furniture baffled my overall observation. The complication prompted me with an ideal notion that an anthropologist should also be a historian, a politician, an artist, a sociologist and so forth at least to a certain level to acquire a capacity of blending a myriad of interrelated information. Nevertheless, I found the

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