Katie’s Human Ethology Assignment

I am conducting my observation on February 8, 2013 at Innisfree Irish Pub at 1925 University Blvd Tuscaloosa, Al at 11:45 p.m. It is pretty dimly lit and pretty crowded. There are many people sitting at the bar and at tables in groups. This bar is 21 and over, and most of the people here seem to be in fraternities or sororities. It is very loud with people talking and loud music playing.

Focal Sample:

I am studying a female individual who looks to be 21 or 22 years old. She is sitting at a booth with four other females and two males. She is wearing jeans, boots, and a fur vest. She is drinking a clear drink with a lime. She is talking with her friends and drinking her drink. Around minute 3 she stands up to greet a male whom she seems to already know, then he leaves. She sit back down and continues to talk with her friends. Around minute 6 she smokes a cigarette. She frequently looks at her phone, and she is slouching. Around minute 10 she stands up and walks towards the door and stands talking and laughing with another girl. After a few minutes, they walk back to the booth and sit down.

Scan Sample: 

There are two rooms with separate bars and two separate social areas outside. I will do my scan on the front room inside.

Scan 1: There is a huge crowd of people around the bar trying to get a drink. There is a group of people socializing and drinking at one of the tables by the window. On the left side of the room near the stage there is one couple dancing very provocatively and drawing a lot of attention to themselves. Other people are scattered around the tables in the room socializing.

Scan 2: The crowd around the bar has not seemed to thin out. People are pushing to try to get to the bar. There is no one dancing in the room at the moment. There is a crowd around the door. It seems that a large group of people have just arrived. The group near the window is still socializing, and two individuals are smoking.

Scan 3: Again, there are still a lot of people at the bar. Three of the girls who were sitting by the window are now dancing. They seem to be pretty drunk and are stumbling a lot. However, they look like they are trying to be provocative. The group that was crowded around the door seems to have made its way outside. Most of the tables are empty now, aside from one table with two males sitting there, talking to each other and smoking.

Scan 4: There are still a lot of people around the bar. Some are sitting and talking; others are trying to get a drink. The majority of the people who were sitting by the window have left the room. The only people left are the three girls who were dancing earlier. Now they are talking and drinking. No one is dancing. There is a couple making out by the door. There are groups of people at tables around the room.


In my focal sample, the individual went through all 5 steps when she saw a guy she knew. As he was walking by she called out his name, he recognized her, they both said “hey” to each other then they hugged. Then, as he walked away, she sat down.

In my scan sampling I observed all 5 stages throughout my observation. People would flash their money at the bartenders to try to get their attention. People would frequently shout out to get someone’s attention. Some people got recognition by others who seemed to strike up a conversation with someone they didn’t know. Recognition also occurred when people who already knew each other got together. There was a lot of talking in the room. It was hard to hear anything in the room above the talking. Many groups were talking and laughing, and some were shouting. Touch happened frequently. Many people hugged, and others shook hands. The couple that was dancing was touching a lot. The girl’s entire backside was touching the guy’s entire front side. They were also moving in synchronization.

Author: Johnna Dominguez

Johnna Dominguez earned her BA in Interdisciplinary Studies: Cultural Studies and Body Politics from the University of Alabama's New College in May 2011. In her senior thesis, Johnna explored the embodiment of identity through sexuality and sports by observing and studying Alabama football fans and participants in the local burlesque troupe, the Pink Box Burlesque. In her Master's thesis, she is investigating the psychological and physical stresses associated with southern women who get tattoos. After completing her Master's in Anthropology, she hopes to return to school for a Master's in Public Health.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *