Race Track Ethnography

917 Words4 Pages
The horse race tracks are one of the most interesting places I have ever been up to this date. The diversity that exists within this community is very broad and yet to be identified in more detail by me. When I stepped foot into this community, I was unaware of the history, use of language and vocabulary, and who the informants, gatekeepers, and social actors were. After my ethnography of the horse tracks, I now have a better idea of what lies beneath that curtain. At this stage of my ethnography, I would say that I am more of an observer than a participant. Since I have only been there once, I would say that my first stage of ethnography was to observe rather than to become a participant. Being a participant requires more knowledge about the community, and since it was my first time being there, I called myself an observer. The second time I go to the horse tracks I would then consider myself a participant and an observer at the same time. Since I already have knowledge about the horse tracks and how things work behind the curtain, I would fit into the community better. I would then prepare to participate in the same manner as others would there. I would be more involved with the racing of the horses, the bettors, the jockeys, etc... I would then convert into a participant by cooperating in those activities and I would be grouped with the social actors. The gatekeepers at Santa Anita are those that toured us around the tracks and provided us with information on how things work behind the scenes. Donnie for example is considered one a gatekeeper along with the lady that gave us a tour on the tram. They were the ones who opened the doors for us at the race tracks along with giving us an introduction about the community. They were the ones who took us places and had control over which areas we could observe and which areas were limited for us see. They were leading

More about Race Track Ethnography

Open Document