Sociology-The term paper will be a study of an immigrant neighborhood or enclave in Los Angeles. The main goal of the paper is to analytically describe the social context and social ecology of the place you are studying. As part of this experience each student will select an immigrant neighborhood following the instructions described in Assignment #1: Identifying a Neighborhood (http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/soc/immigration/uploads/TestPageAssignment1.htm). This activity is worth 10% of your grade. (Note: The neighborhoods listed in Step 1 of the assignment are just examples. You will select your own research site.) Here are additional instructions to figure out the American Fact Finder:
1. Once you are on the main portal (http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml), go to Address Search on the left and type the address. If you do not have an actual address, go to Google Maps and identify an actual address you can use to conduct your search. Make sure you write and keep the zip code.
2. Enter the address and press Go. You will get a list of geographies. You will conduct a first search by census track, which is option 6 down the list. Select census track and then close the Select Geographies window. The program will give you the actual census track number that corresponds to the address you selected.
3. At the top of the page, you’ll find your community facts derived from the 2010 census and the American Community Survey (ACS). Some of the information you need will be under the 2010 census option and the table that appears once you select it. If not, continue searching under ACS options. If you have not found all the data you need, go to the first table under Search Results (further below on the screen) and open the Selected Social Characteristics in the United States. Do not panic, it’ll give you the data for your census track only. If you need to explore other tables, go ahead—make my day. ; )
4. Remember that we want raw numbers and percentages, and also that we are looking for the most recent data available. Do not get confused by that “1999” year on the instruction sheet. Proceed and collect the data required on Step 3 of the assignment instructions.
5. You want to collect data at the level of the census track but if it is too small and the information is not released for reasons of confidentiality, you’ll need to use the zip code, which comprises a bigger geography.
6. Finally, play with the program and take your time to find the data you need but also to become acquainted with the demographic profile of your site. Have fun!!
For the larger paper, your research should respond and use as guide some of the following questions: what are the social institutions and landmarks of the immigrant neighborhood/enclave? Do other immigrants or ethnic groups inhabit the neighborhood besides the group that lends its name to the community? Which groups are they? Are all these different groups performing any distinct social roles or functions? What kinds of social interactions do these groups sustain? Is this primarily a residential or a business enclave or a combination of the two? Are there any observable and salient social problems in the neighborhood (i.e. poverty)? What is the condition of the buildings, commercial areas, houses and schools in this place? Are there any public spaces in the neighborhood? Who gathers there and for what purposes? Are there any observable community characteristics in terms of age, gender, culture, music and cuisine? You can add your own questions, with prior consultation with the instructor and the TA.
The chief methodological tool to use is non-participant, unobtrusive observation. Before turning in your final paper, you are required to submit your observation notes or log, which is worth 10% of your grade. You should plan on making at least four visits to your site at different times and during different days of the week. Each visit should last at least two hours.
In order to both deepen and facilitate your ethnographic experience in the field, we will be reading a series of methodological materials which address issues you will be facing in the field (i.e. conducting observations; writing notes). Pei Palmgren, Soc 152’s TA, will be in charge of discussing these readings with each of the sections. Pei will also lead discussions on substantive immigration topics using selections from the required readings. Attendance to these sessions is mandatory.
You may also employ Census and other data available in the websites listed below to enrich your description and use relevant sociological and historical literature to obtain further knowledge about the place you are describing. You may also use photographs and maps as an appendix to your paper. Instructions on the sections of the paper and length follow below:
Introduction (1 pp.): A brief discussion of your paper’s goal and research question.
Literature Review (2 pp.): A discussion of the literature you read for this paper. This literature should deal with the immigrant group or groups and/or the place relevant to your paper, and/or a theory you use to approach your subject.
Methods (1 pp.): A brief discussion of the methods you used to collect your data and the methodological problems you encountered and how you solved them.
Analysis (7 pp.): A detailed presentation of your findings and the explanations you have developed to make sense of your observations. You can organize this section under no more than two subheadings.
Conclusion (1 pp.): A summary of your findings and issues that would be worth exploring in the future.
References (1 pp.): A list of 5-10 references you used in your paper. At least 5 of them have to be social science materials (i.e. journal articles, book chapters, books, reports). Use a scholarly accepted citation style (i.e. Chicago, MLA).