Carwash Identity: an Ethnographic Exploration of Space and Identity in South Dallas

In: Social Issues

Submitted By elishao
Words 7909
Pages 32
On any given day a number of individuals travel to and through the South Dallas area where this initial research project took place. Many visitors to the area often stop at the few remaining mom-and-pop restaurants for a greasy cheeseburger, link, or fish basket where several of the public characters that took part in this research hustle for money to buy that day’s beverage, blunt, or bed. The participants in this research are constantly in the public’s eye. Their identities are not secret and often the ways in which they engage in informal economy are well known as well.
A select few of these individuals have participated in city meetings that are televised. Other anthropologists, sociologists, and curious academics have examined the decline of this southern sector of Dallas for one reason or another. Newspaper reporters and other media groups have often completed editorial pieces on this community and its residents (housed and un-housed). Identities are often made public; however, anonymity in regards to person or place is very much a component to this research in accordance with the anthropological guidelines of human subject protection. A pseudonym has been provided for each individual and place of business that participated in this research.

Society is not a mere sum of individuals. Rather, the system formed by their association represents a specific reality which has its own characteristics... The group thinks, feels, and acts quite differently from the way in which its members would were they isolated. If, then, we begin with the individual, we shall be able to understand nothing of what takes place in the group. -Ėmile Durkheim (1895)
Anthropology as a discipline makes important contributions to academic scholarship and research. The anthropological importance of this research is to examine the…...

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