Ethnographic Essay Examples

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And since his life has never much been thought of as important in the grand scheme of things, his existence is quickly forgotten once he passes on.“He pretty much runs the place,” he tells me as I crack a smile. He returns to the table with what appears to be a 40-ounce bottle of beer.I later learn that he was unable to be at the birth of his grandson–his first grandson. I’m not able to distinguish what variety of beer it is; it’s still covered with the brown paper bag from the liquor store.He was gone on a two-week detail for the National Guard. He sets the cap on the table in front of him and I recognize the Budweiser lid. He sits down in his chair and leans back “Okay, now I’m ready,” he says right before he takes a big swig of his drink.As I search my book bag for my tape recorder, Alvarez gets up. Alvarez is not like the average retired copper miner, if one can argue such a thing exists.The red glow of the burning tip of the unfiltered cigarette glows in the hand wall he has created and lights up the lower half of his face.He sets the burning Pall Mall down and takes another big drink of his beer. He looks at me, “Let’s get this started.” Alvarez was born in Bisbee, Arizona.His big, bulky fingers move with the greatest of ease.They look strong, stronger than, I think to myself, any one of my arms.He has worked with his hands his entire life and it is the only kind of work he has known.He knows what it is like to work hard for poor wages, struggle financially, and to surrender himself for the good of his family.


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