Spectators' Motives

In our English 121 class, we had an overall theme of identity and community. One assignment we did in relation to the theme was our ethnographic essays, where we went out and observed different communities. The community I chose to observe was my high school's boys' varsity basketball games, where I attended several games and took notes of my experience while being there. My main focus, though, was not on the game but the spectators who attended the games. After doing some observations I finally developed a main idea I wanted to explore more, which was the spectators’ motives for attending the games. I learned that the spectators attending the basketball games fell under different motivational categories, and they could be part of one or more of these categories. The motivation categories that I broke the crowd down into was educational, personal, and entertainment.

My main focus, though, was not on the game but the spectators who attended the games.

After completing my essay, we then had to make a visual genre to represent our main focus within the essay. Again, my focus was the spectators and their motives for attending the basketball games. I took a multigenre class in high school and knew that there were many options to choose from, but it was a challenge to find one genre that would represent my main focus the best. I knew that the main idea needed to be easy to see so the audience could focus and understand. Most importantly, I wanted them to focus on the motivational categories each spectator was under and labeling the spectators was able to give them that focus. I was really satisfied with it and made some specific touches to make it even more representational of the community I was observing.

Another thing I worked on was making the community look exactly the way it did when I made my observations. For this I made specific details stand out, such as showing the spectators as a diversified group and representing the difference between the student and parent section. I showed the difference between the sections by placing the spectators in the student section closer to each and had the parent section more spread out. The parents were more spaced out since they probably don't have close relations to the other spectators they were sitting by. Another thing I did was include the spectators I discussed in my essay and myself. The specific spectators I placed were the two girls I interviewed who usually attend the games and a father and his two sons.

When I finished my project I still didn't have a name of what genre it was. After some thinking, I finally figured out that the genre of my work was an informational poster. I could picture it being hung up in a high school hallway near the gymnasium attracting many spectators’ attention because of the bright colors. Most importantly they would be able to learn something, not only about the game, but about themselves.

Spectators' Motives


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