Jack Benton

People who work as a team generally rely on trust to know that something will be done. This trust grows from the non-verbal cues that each individual gives off during the exchange. In order to understand how this trust really works I focused on the exchanges at my workplace between direction givers and direction takers. I wanted to discover A) if the non-verbal cues of the direction taker affect the trust of the direct giver. Secondly, B) if the non-verbal cues of the direction giver affect the trust of the direction taker. And thirdly, C) if the confidence of either one is displaced in the other through the non-verbal cues present. I wanted to know what can be done to positively change the trust and confidence of the workplace through simple non-verbal cues. In order to answer these questions, I conducted my study by using structured observation of the people in my workplace. I grouped the workers into two categories. The first is compiled of direction givers, and the second of direction takers. I later immersed myself in this experiment by putting myself into both groups. Both giving direction and taking them. So far, I have found that the non-verbal cues of somebody directly affect the trust instilled in someone else. I also found that this communication can be easily improved by just smiling or not looking grumpy while giving directions.


Brendan P Dolan


               There are many cultures and subcultures that surround us and that are involved in our everyday lives. The culture that I will be conducting my ethnological research on is the Seton Hall University Gym. The Seton Hall University Gym is distinct from other areas of campus because it is an area where every student can better their minds and their bodies from challenging physical activities. The location of the gym is in the middle of campus near the parking deck so both commuters and students living on campus know where it is and have easy access to the center itself. Not all, but a large amount of the communication of avid gym goers is paralanguage which is what I shall prove through my findings. I will show how signs, symbols, the atmosphere, and the chromatics of the gym all play an important role in the communication between people working out in the gym culture. I go to the gym about three times a week so I am familiar with how to conduct oneself in the gym environment, yet I will also be interviewing my friend Anthony Trezza who not only goes to the gym every day, but changes his diet due to the gym culture. I hope that my research and my findings are successful in describing the entire dynamic and ethnography of the ‘gym culture’.



Derek Jenkins


               For this mini-ethnography assignment, I looked into and researched on a particular culture that is of course unique and interesting.  The culture and area that I researched was the Charles W. Doehler academic center for student-athletes.  As the titles states, this area is an academic center for the student-athletes at Seton Hall University.  The area is located in the basement of the recreation center.  Being an athlete at Seton Hall, I am already familiar with the area and the culture surrounding it; however, through this research process I have noticed new things and now know some of the terms used to represent my findings.  Obviously a lot of the communication that occurs in the academic center is through paralanguage or vocalics.  Understanding that this was the case, I really needed to walk around and almost spy on various people in there to really see some of the other nonverbal categories that occurred.  When I present to you all this week, I will focus on these three to four categories.  The categories are chronemics, sign and symbols or semiotics, and atmosphere.  All of these categories are present and are used somewhat frequently throughout the academic center.  I am looking forward to sharing my findings and research with all of you!




Alex Pfisterer

When it comes to using some type of public transit there can be many different cultural norms that come into play such as how to talk or behave. There can be many things that factor into this such as where a person is seated or even what time of the day it is. To learn more about these certain transit norms I decided to ride a train from South Orange to Newark (Broad St.) and back. When on the train ride I noticed specific patters forming around the people on it. I thought how and why do these people act like this, why do some of them jump on the first seat they have while other will simply “browse” for that seat that is just right? At first I thought this might be some sort of territory thing, but then I thought furthermore how could someone claim territory on such a huge train? I observed many different people of all races and ages and it tended that the older generation did more of the same thing as opposed to the younger generation who did their own thing. From what I have observed I learned that I think age has to do with most of the culture on a train. Although time and place play a small factor as well there are many components that have to do with public transit culture.




Joey Silvia

               For my ethnography I chose to conduct research on the ins and outs of parking here at Seton Hall University as well as in the village of South Orange. Because it is something I am so familiar with as well as something that I feel varies greatly depending on where the study is being done, I felt that the so called “culture of parking” would be a very interesting topic to cover. People are much more different behind the wheel than in person; and there is never a more frustrating situation than trying to find a space in a crowded lot. For me to further draw upon the trends that I had experienced in my own parking endeavors I walked around lots both at school and in town to observe. Through observations of drivers parking as well as driver on driver communication I was able to notice several patterns and key nonverbal cues many drivers display while dealing with parking. I found that certain people become extremely aggressive when behind the wheel, throwing their hands up inside the vehicle and getting rid of their apparent anger. Others appear significantly more hesitant, and it is apparent simply by the way they look over the dashboard. The use of vocalics is a big player in the culture of parking, but I found just as much from the facial expressions of the drivers as well as their gestures. I also found that there were certain signs and symbols that people use to clarify their intentions in parking situations as well. By performing experiments to draw out reactions and observe patterns I was able to immerse myself into the world of parking culture. I found that this small aspect of our lives contains much more of a culture and way of acting than most people would realize.


Nahleen Taylor

Mini-Ethnography Abstract on

“Supermarket environments and how it speaks to cultural distinctions of people”


Abstract:  Most people have a preferred store when it comes to shopping for groceries.  Various kinds of supermarkets attract certain cultural populations.  Why is that?  Is it the signage luring them in? Is it the atmosphere or olfactics? Perhaps it is a culmination of them all that keeps customers actively shopping within their primary grocery store.  In order to answer these questions, I focused my research upon the customer shopping experience in Whole Foods of Vauxhall versus that of Shoprite of West Orange.  The study is purely based on findings from my structured observation of people in these two supermarkets, in addition to insight received from a brief interview with an informant (employee and random shopper) from both stores. Findings from my study, suggest that people who shop at Whole Foods appear to be more relaxed, concerned about health and environment, happy and friendly and more appealing to those within a specific socioeconomic class.  Whereas people who shop at Shoprite of West Orange appear to be rushed, not so pleasant, frugal, abrupt, crowded, and somewhat egocentric.



Matt Zeigafuse, Chris Willis

Mini Ethnography

               We decided to observe three different Dunkin Donuts locations for our mini ethnography. The three different DD’s were the Seton Hall Dunkin Donuts, the Dunkin Donuts on South Orange Ave, and the Irvington Ave Dunkin Donuts. DD has become an important part of some people’s everyday routine so it is interesting to note that while all three are the same franchise, they all possess their own unique characteristics. Customers at Dunkin Donuts make up a sub culture of their own. Because of the differences in location the nonverbal behaviors that are demonstrated can be similar or they can vary. Some of the locations have a different customer base, some have different layouts, and some are busy during different times of the day. We found that you had to become a customer and sit and observe the happenings at each particular location to understand what makes them similar and what makes them different. Our observations of chronemics, music&sound, and atmosphere will help us explain the nonverbal behaviors and norms in each specific Dunkin Donuts.



Thomas Zucker

For my ethnography assignment, I’ve decided to focus on a particular culture that many people might not be familiar with. The culture I am talking about comes from those who watch anime (Japanese animation), and the area I am focusing specifically on is anime conventions. Many people are aware of the annual event Comic-Con that happens in cities like San Diego and New York due to their size and the amount of publicity they receive. Similar to these events, anime conventions are places where fans of all different genres of anime can come together and talk about interests that they might normally not get to discuss. For many, this presents the opportunity to learn about new comics and shows that they would normally be unaware of, participate in group events with likeminded individuals, and make friends from other places. People who have been immersed in anime culture, like people in any other culture, have gestures and phrases that to them, could reference something that would sound like nonsense to an outsider. I have been to several anime conventions in the past, but for this project, I will use a recent example. I will be observing the behavior and communication of the people I see at the Castle Point Anime Convention that is happening this Sunday in Hoboken, and report on the nonverbal cues and actions that anime fans use to communicate. To accomplish my goals, I will be focusing on the use of signage, symbols, sounds, haptics, and atmosphere. I hope this will present the opportunity to learn more about a culture that many are unaware of.