Ethnography of the University / Focus on Politics 2018 / Student Bios and Blog Posts / Undergraduate Ethnography

Student bio: Tarini Date (Ethnography of the University 2018: Focus on Politics)

My name is Tarini Date. I’m a fourth-year undergraduate student here at U of T. I double major in sociocultural anthropology and sociology and minor in women and gender studies. My project is focused on ethnographically examining how people respond to the increased pro-life demonstrations on campus. Pro-life demonstrators are known to use very large posters with extremely graphic and digitally altered images of aborted fetuses that look extremely human-like. These posters are the source of much critique, at the individual and group level. As such, I focused my ethnographic inquiry how such critiques are framed, conceptualized and articulated; and the ramifications of those critiques. As part of this project, I co-authored three collective blog posts with others in the ethnography lab and wrote three individual blog posts, in addition to presenting my findings during our research conference and in a final paper.

The collective blog posts that I co-authored were about: 1) the imagined university student; 2) complicating the notion of the field; and lastly 3) about the use of symbolic victims to mobilize activism in both the pro-choice and pro-life groups and the similarities between the two movements and populism.

My individual blog posts detail the following: 1) my struggles with trusting my ethnographic instincts when my field enveloped me; 2) the challenges of maintaining my neutrality as an ethnographer in the course of my fieldwork; and lastly 3) my initial research interests and how the research I ended up embarking on circled back unexpectedly to my original interests.

Blog posts by Tarini:

Shifting Fields, Collecting Data and Trusting One’s Instinct

 Neutrality on the Field

Ending at the Beginning

Ethnography of the University Collaborative Writing Theme 3: Who is the imagined university student

Populism on Campus? Examining Self-Victimization in the Pro-Choice and Pro-Life Movements

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