Occupational Folklife Survey

Make sure you have permission to be an observer at a work site. As you observe a work situation, use this sheet to jot notes on any of these topics that arise. When you conduct an interview, ask what these topics mean to the interviewee. What's the story behind the scene? Does this occupation relate to the community's sense of place? Do any responses relate specifically to the region or the state?

Date ___________________________


Names of Observers/Interviewers_____________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

Occupation or work observed ________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

Place (address, county) _____________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

Circumstances (time, season, location, weather, setting)



Names and contact information for any interviewees (may substitute Release Forms to record this information)




Yes, we have signed Release Forms from interviewees ____________.



Look for and ask about the following:

Relationship of the workplace to the environment, waterways, roadways


Overall workspace arrangement and decoration


Individual workspace arrangement and decoration


Terms or special language


Equipment, gear, clothing


Gestures, body language



Special techniques, skills, practices


Formal training required


Tricks of the trade and training learned traditionally by observation and imitation and from colleagues on the job


Lines of authority


Roles of men, women, children, age groups


Spatial relations, movement patterns (sketch on back and refine later)


Sounds


Customs


Celebrations


Jokes, humor, pranks


Stories (for example, what were some funny, hard, good, or dangerous experiences)


Beliefs, good luck charms, omens


Initiation of newcomers


Aspects informant considers unique


Aspects that might be unique to your community or state


Other



Adapted with permission from www.louisianavoices.org