Observation Log 1
Setting: Fast-food joint
Date of observation: 21st January 2017
Participants and roles: Cashier/Waitress (Matt) and me (customer purchasing cheeseburger and a soft drink).
Verbal interaction: I chose not to begin the conversation so as to observe what his first reaction would be. “Hello, how are you?” inquired the cashier with a noticeable smile on her face. “I am doing fine,” I replied. This was then followed by an awkward silence before the cashier decided to ask what I opted for as my order. The cashier’s tone of voice shifted from being high-pitched to low. He seemed to be uncomfortable and in a hurry to serve me.
Non-verbal interaction: At the beginning of the conversation, the cashier seems to be confident as portrayed by her posture and tone of voice. One could easily notice his smile as he began to serve me. However, the cashier’s tone of voice suddenly hanged to low toned. He could no longer be seen smiling as he changed his posture from time to time. In addition, the cashier could no longer maintain proper eye contact with me.
Rituals performed in conjunction with the interactions: One is considered to be rude or an introvert when he or she fails to participate in a conversation.
Observation Log 2
Setting: Grocery store
Date of observation:26th December 2016
Participants and roles: My friend Amina from Somalia was the customer, the cashier (Ben), and me was the observer. Since Amina was born and bred in Somalia, I took the chance to observe on how she would interact with the American cashier. Amina had worn a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. One could not easily tell that she was a Muslim lady since she had not worn any hijab nor had she covered her hair.
Verbal interaction: The cashier began the conversation with salutations. “Good evening to you?” said the cashier. This was followed by a reply from Amina who quickly replied to the cashier, “Good evening to you too.” Amina’s enthusiasm could be felt in the room as she smiled at the cashier who could no longer maintain proper eye contact with Amina. However, Amina continued to talk to the cashier who was delighted to continue the conversation with Amina. One could easily tell that the cashier had taken quite a long time to serve Amina.
Nonverbal interaction: Both the cashier and Amina wore a smile on their face. Amina also used gestures as she talked to the cashier. At one point, the cashier could be seen looking downwards thereby not maintaining proper eye contact with Amina.
Ritualsperformedinconjunctionwiththeinteractions: Most people find it pleasant if another person freely converses with them.
Observation Log 3
Date of observation:2nd January 2017
Participants and roles: I am both a customer and an observer, my two friends from Brazil. In order to catch up with my friends who had come to attend a conference in America, we saw it fit to go and chill out at a popular bar. Our conversation was on Politics.
Verbal interaction: One could easily describe my friends as being a little bit noisy as they spoke in loudly. It was especially awkward for me when every time I began to speak, one of them would quickly interrupt so as to speak. To them, it seemed normal, and their laughter could be heard by everyone in the bar.
Nonverbal interaction: Both maintained a posture to indicate confidence and high self-esteem. On other occasions, they would be seen turning on their chairs so as to face the person who was talking.
Ritualsperformedinconjunctionwiththeinteractions: In Brazil, people are free to express themselves. One is also allowed to interrupt the other while talking. This is not considered to be rude, instead, one is considered to be actively participating in the conversation.
Observation Log 4
Date of observation:21st November 2016
Participants and roles: Waitress, Me (customer and observer), and my friend Aisha who is from Saudi Arabia (Customer). In this scenario, I chose to be a passive participant so as to observe how Aisha would interact with the waitress. Aisha is also in search of a restaurant that offers certain specific cuisines that she is used to in Saudi Arabia.
Verbal interaction:“Asalam Aleikum?” said the waitress. Aisha replied with much delight and joy which she expressed with a smile, “Aleikum Salam.” The waitress thereafter turned to me to say hello to which I replied back. Aisha thereafter went straight to the point by enquiring if the restaurant offered certain cuisines. She was more so enthusiastic given the fact that the waitress recognized all the different types of dishes that she was enquiring about. Luckily for Aisha, the waitress confirmed that some of the dishes that Aisha wanted were in fact cooked in the restaurant. Aisha was glad to have found a new friend who somewhat understood her culture and traditions. “Could you please help me with your number?” asked Aisha. The waitress gladly responded by giving Aisha her number.
Nonverbal interaction: The interaction was a smooth one as Aisha found a new friend. Both maintained clear eye contact. They both had smiles on their visage as they conversed. Aisha’s enthusiasm could be felt from miles away as she would often change her tone of voice to indicate her astonishment especially when she realized that the restaurant offered certain meals that she had been looking for.
Ritualsperformedinconjunctionwiththeinteractions: A person is always delighted to encounter someone whom they share a common culture, belief, interests, and background with.
Observation Log 5
Date of observation:20th September 2016
Participants and roles: Me (observer), my friend Sam who is from Thailand (Customer), and his friend Dan, who is also from Thailand. In this scenario, Sam incidentally meets Dan who studies in one of the colleges in the United States.
Verbal interaction: “Hello sir,” said Dan, this was followed by a response from Sam who said, “How are you doing, Sam?” “I am doing fine, thank you, sir,” said Dan.
Nonverbal interaction: Dan puts in on top of Sam’s hands before slightly bowing down.
Ritualsperformedinconjunctionwiththeinteractions: This is a normal form of greeting in Thailand. This form of greeting is usually done to signify respect. The younger person bows down to indicate a polite fiction of honoring seniority since acting as equals would be regarded as a show of rudeness.
Observation Log 6
Date of observation:3rd January 2016
Participants and roles: Me (Interviewer), Jane who is Japanese (Interviewee)
Verbal interaction: This interview began with salutations. “Good morning to you,” said Jane, to which I responded back by saying, “Good morning Jane.” This greeting was accompanied by a handshake.
Nonverbal interaction: The shaking of hands was accompanied by a verbal form of salutation. However, Jane could not maintain eye contact with me.
Ritualsperformedinconjunctionwiththeinteractions: In Japan, when a person meets someone for the first time, he or she is not required to look at the person directly in the eye. This mostly occurs by a younger person encounters an older person or a person who is above his status.
Observation Log 7
Date of observation:30th December 2016
Participants and roles:Me (Cynthia) and my friend Stacy
Verbal interaction:“Hey Cynthia, please feel at home,” “In fact, you can go and take a beer from the fridge as I complete this assignment,” said Stacy.
Nonverbal interaction:Cynthia uses a casual tone of voice. She also keeps a smile on her face as she requests me to feel at home.
Ritualsperformedinconjunctionwiththeinteractions: In America, a guest who may be a friend or family member is usually treated in a casual manner. This is to ensure that they are comfortable and relaxed whilst also ensuring that the guests gain a sense of belonging.
Observation Log 8
Setting:Touristsite (Maasai Mara).
Date of observation:1st January, 2016
Participants and roles:Five Americans including me and six Japanese who are on a tour mission in Kenya.
Verbal interaction:As an observer, I notice that the Americans have a lot of questions for the tour guide. “How many species of rhinos are currently present in Kenya?” “What has the government done to reduce poaching?” These are some of the questions asked by the Americans who would interrupt the tour guide in any case they felt that they had to ask a certain query. On the other hand, the Japanese tourists were quiet and attentive to listen to what the tour guide had to say.
Nonverbal interaction:The tour guide had a serious face while explaining different facts to the tourists. He would at times smile when the Americans would ask him a series of questions. On the other hand, the Japanese tourists would be seen taking notes and nodding their heads
Ritualsperformedinconjunctionwiththeinteractions:The Americans are regarded to be curious, inquisitive and aggressive. It is with this profound reason that they bombarded the tour guide with a series of questions. On the other hand, the Japanese are considered to be keen listeners as they speak less and listen more.
Observation log 9
Date of observation:
Participants and roles:Oneof myfriendsfromSaudiArabia(Nina),thecashier(Ken)and me(observer).
Verbal interaction: The cashier who knows me by name as one of the loyal customers was surprised when I was accompanied by my friend Nina. “Hey Stacy, today you’ve come with a friend,” said Ken. “Yes, I have, she needs to know where I purchase these fresh vegetables from,” I responded. “You are very thoughtful,” said Ken. “Hello, beautiful lady, what is your name?” asked Ken. “My name is Nina Mohammed,” said Nina. Nina replied in a low tone as she shyly looked sideways. “You are not from here, are you?” asked Ken. “This is my first time to be in Sacramento,” replied Nina. The conversation continued as I kept myself busy by checking my new emails on my phone. We thereafter left as soon as Ken transacted my order. “Stacy, come again soon with your lovely friend,” said Ken as he waved us goodbye.
Nonverbal interaction: The cashier maintained a friendly tone as he spoke to Nina who most of the time could not keep a proper eye contact with Ken. They both seemed to be enjoying their conversation which was indicated by their laughter. Nina maintained a low tone of voice which indicated that she was a bit shy as due to the compliments that she was being given by Ken.
Observation log 10
Date of observation:25th, December, 2016
Participants and roles:Me (shopper) and the customer care agent (Sally)
Verbal interaction: “Hello, how are you,” I asked. “I am doing fine, thank you,” “How may I help you?” asked Sally. “Where can I find this specific type of rice,” I asked as I showed her the name of the rice as listed on my shopping list. “Sorry, but we do not have this type of rice, but there are others which you can try out,” says Sally as she gives me a list of the different types of rice that they have in stock. “I am used to this type of rice, and I am afraid to try out a new one,” “thank you for serving me.” I say as I head out to the cashier to pay for my goods.
Nonverbal interaction: I nod my head in a horizontal direction as she tells me of the different types of rice. Sally’s confidence is portrayed by her posture and her tone of voice. However, in spite of Sally’s efforts in convincing me to try out another type of rice, I cannot settle for one due to as I am uncertain if they are of best quality.
Observation log 11
Date of observation:6th January, 2016
Participants and roles:Me as the observer, Waiter (Ben), my friend Gloria
Verbal interaction: In this scenario, I decided to embrace my role as a talkative lady in order to see Ben’s reaction. Immediately he came to my table to take my order, I smiled as I said a loud hello to him “Hello Ben, how are you doing?” I enquired. “I am doing fine thank you,” “Kindly may I take your order?” asked Ben. “Well, Ben, I need your opinion on what I should take for lunch,” I said. “Uuumh, I am not sure on what you’d like to try out,” said Ben. “Ben, I really love the sound of your name, please just pick anything that would suite me,” “I’ll pay for any meal that you choose, and I’ll give you a good tip if you give me your number.” I said.
Nonverbal interaction: Ben was a bit surprised and confused when I called out his name. He also seemed to be in a hurry to serve me. He portrayed a posture that indicated shyness. He could no longer maintain an eye contact with me when I let him know how much I loved his name. His voice became shaky when I also asked for his number.
Phenomenon for observation log 6
Date of observation: 3rd January, 2016
Participants and roles: Me (Interviewer), Jane who is Japanese (Interviewee)
Verbal interaction: This interview began by salutations. “Good morning to you,” said Jane, to which I responded back by saying, “Good morning Jane.” This greeting was accompanied by a handshake.
Nonverbal interaction: Shaking of hands was accompanied by verbal form of salutation. However, Jane could not maintain an eye contact with me.
Ritualsperformedinconjunctionwiththeinteractions: In Japan, when a person meets someone for the first time, he or she is not required to look at the person directly in the eye. This mostly occurs by a younger person who encounters an older person or a person who is above his status.
Usual and unusual about the interaction
As a typical American, I found the Japanese form of greeting to be extremely unusual, especially the part where one has to slightly bow down. In America, greetings are mostly done through handshakes, hugs, or by word of mouth.
Insights as to the reasons why certain language rituals exist in the setting: In America, every person is equal to the other. It does not matter who’s the first one to greet the other. However, in Japan, one’s age defines if either he/she will be the first one to greet the other. The younger person is expected to greet the older person by putting his/her hands on top of the elderly person before slightly bowing down as a show of honor and respect.
Phenomenon for observation log 3
Date of observation: 2nd January, 2017
Participants and roles: Me as both a customer and an observer, my two friends from Brazil. In order to catch up with my friends who had come to attend a conference in America, we saw it fit to go and chill out at a popular bar. Our conversation was on Politics.
Verbal interaction: One could easily describe my friends as being a little bit noisy as they spoke in loudly. It was especially awkward for me when every time I began to speak, one of them would quickly interrupt so as to speak. To them it seemed normal, and their laughter could be heard by everyone in the bar.
Nonverbal interaction: Both maintained a posture to indicate confidence and high self-esteem. In other occasions, they would be seen turning on their chairs so as to face the person who was talking.
Ritualsperformedinconjunctionwiththeinteractions:In Brazil, people are free to express themselves. One is also allowed to interrupt the other while talking. This is not considered to be rude, instead one is considered to be actively participating in the conversation.
Usual and unusual about the interaction
In America, interrupting someone as during a conversation is considered to be rude and inconsiderate. Every person ought to equally participate through the conversation. However, in Brazil, interrupting someone during a conversation is a normal thing.
Insights as to the reasons why certain language rituals exist in the setting: In Brazil, it is considered normal when one interrupts or adds a point while another person is speaking. One is viewed to be thoughtful and an active participant in the conversation. Furthermore, every person has a right to say what he/she feels to be important regardless of whether another person is speaking or not.