Sociologists routinely observe people, their interactions, places and events; and try to interpret social behavior to theorize about society. A Written report of their observations and analysis is known as a “field report: about the 9/11 Memorial Museum ” or an “ethnography”
Like a journalist, start by providing the basic details: (a) who; (b) what; (c) where; (d) when; and (e) why? Then proceed to detail your observations and analysis of the museum.
It is good to have a clear theoretical framework (you can apply one or all):
A-“social-interactionist perspective” (represented—-in part—by Georg Simmel) tries to identify patterns of behavior in moment-to-moment interactions. What patterns of behavior do you observe at the museum? Any significant symbols? What is the mood of the place?
Questions To Ask Yourself
• What patterns of behavior do you observe at the museum? Are these “sequential” patterns, e.g., at the start of the museum vs. the end?
• What groups apparent at the museum? How can you identify them? If relevant, note their age, gender, clothing, nationality, class, etc. If relevant, describe their body posture or facial expressions. What do they do? What do they say? What is their tone?
• What symbols or phrases do you see? What values, ideas, attitudes, and assumptions do they represent?
• What “objects” are significant? What do they represent?
• What is the mood of the museum? How is this mood achieved?
• What events or behaviors are widespread?