For these assignments you will go out in the cultural field (of Southern California) and do one of more of the following projects:

1) Field Observation  
2) App Study Project    
3) Cyber Field Observation
4) Altered States Project.



For this project you are to find one or more subjects who will allow you to observe them engaging the cyber world via their phone, tablet or computer.  Here you are to observe how they engage people and ideas.  Depending on your subject’s comfort level you can either watch what they do silently or have them offer commentary on what they are doing and what needs it satisfies for them.  In addition to your observation, ask them to discuss the following questions.


1. Do they text?  If so, to whom, how often, general content of their texts.  

2. Do they read/post on social media sites (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter)?  If so, what are they posting/reading/sharing?

3. Do they surf the web for information?  Are there blogs and news feeds that they regularly read?

4. Do they have their own website or blog?  If so, how often do they post to it?

5. Who do they send/receive email from?

6. How much time per day do they spend engaged in cyber socializing?

7. How often do they use their phones for placing/receiving calls?


Outline for your report:


Title Page (name of paper [pick something creative!], your name, name of course, instructors name, date of completion)


Introduction (who you observed (basic information about your subject(s), e.g. age, gender, etc)  and a brief overview of your findings.


Field Research Methods What methods did you use? (observations? interviews? )  Include reflections on how your subjects engage the cyber world differently than you do and/or differently from each other.


Description of Cyber Cultural Activities (Discuss what you observed (re: mediums, sites, activities) as well as your subjects’ assessment of what cyber relating means to them.  Are there cultural rules/protocols they follow?  What are some sample interactions you observed?


Conclusion (What needs does this culture satisfy and how does it satisfy them? In what ways are the cultural practices effective?  Does cyber-relating enhance the social lives of your subject(s)?  Does it detract from their abilities to relate person-person?  Has it caused them to become more impatient / reduced their ability to pay attention to one thing for very long?


Areas for Further Research (If you were return, what other topics related to cyber culture would you focus on?)


Bibliography (interview subjects and outside sources (Internet, books, articles).





For this project you are invited to engage in an activity that can produce an altered state.  In our discussion about the origins of religious prophecy, we’ll note that often the visions reported occurred when the prophet or shaman was under the influence of an entheogen (hallucinogen that generates a god-message).    For this assignment, do not engage in any activity that is illegal, that you are uncomfortable doing or that you fear could be harmful.  Possible activities could include meditation, yoga, fasting, drumming, chanting, sleep deprivation, spinning in circles, intense dancing or intense exercise.   For your report begin by describing what you did, what you imagined you might feel and what you actually felt.  Did you experience non-duality (at oneness with the universe)?  Did you receive any messages?   Conclude with your assessment of why humans, especially, seek access to altered states.