Gauging Student Levels of Comfort and Approachability

Klairyn Karmazinas, Parkland College
Remy Kaskel, Parkland College
Hannah Li, Parkland College

Winner of Best Oral Presentation - Undergraduate, Ethnography of the University Initiative Student Conference, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, May 11, 2015.

A reflection on the project by group member, Remy Kaskel, supplements this podcast. Hannah Li's paper can be found in this repository at


This podcast is the result of an ethnography assignment for Anthropology 103. The group conducted a small qualitative study which examined the approachability of strangers, especially in regards to how comfortable someone feels when been approached by someone of their own demographics versus very different demographics (age, gender, and ethnicity). The group hypothesized that Parkland students and faculty would either display a lot of openness to diversity, or they would be close-minded. However, data proved to demonstrate a mixture of results, as well as more complicated themes. They concluded that students and faculty members at Parkland feel that they are open to diversity, but noticed that most people were either cautious of everyone in general or had slight preferences toward people of certain demographics, usually their own.