Ethnographic Research Proposal

Malley Fitness Center

Shaun Henry and Connor Haupt


  • Are you a student at Santa Clara?
  • Male or female?
  • What graduation year are you?
  • What is your major?
  • Are you here to do weightlifting, cardio, swimming, sports, or a class?
  • How many days a week do you go to the gym?
  • Do you go to the gym alone, or have a gym partner?
  • Do you wipe down the equipment after you use it?
  • Do you wear headphones while you work out?
  • How long is your typical workout?
  • How much do you socialize at the gym, from a scale of 1-5.
  • Do you use supplements?
  • Are you trying to gain weight or lose weight?
  • What is your motivation for going to the gym?
  • How would you assess your physical fitness?


The site we plan to study is the Malley Fitness center here on the Santa Clara campus. The population being studied is the students at Santa Clara.



The investigation we hope to observe is the exercise habits and fitness mentalities of the students here at Santa Clara.



The significance of this research is to assess the health and fitness of our community by comparing the Santa Clara student population to that of other colleges in the nation.

Secondary Research:

Secondary research on this topic will include background information on Malley center. We will learn the hours of operation, maximum capacity of each room, when the peak hours of the gym are as well as the most popular days of the week. We plan to do this by interviewing multiple front desk employees at the gym. We will also research national averages of health and fitness at universities and colleges across the nation. We will also attempt to interview either the director of recreation or the assistant director of recreation to better learn about the most popular sports and activities on campus.

Conducting Fieldwork:

We will create small surveys with the multiple choice and short answer questions provided above. These surveys will remain anonymous and we will not need consent forms. We will take note of the time of day and the date for each survey. We will stand outside of the front doors to Malley center and approach each student as he or she comes to enter the building, where we will ask for participation in the survey.

Research Timeline:

We will most likely conduct our research during the next couple of weeks, collecting data on different days of the week. We will also collect this data at different times of the day including mornings, afternoons, evenings, and late nights. We will observe the different activities available at the gym including fitness classes, weight training, running and cardio, swimming, and sports such as basketball, volleyball, and badminton. We will also take pictures/videos of the different facilities and activities available at Malley.


We will not have any challenges to accessing the site, as we will be standing outside of the building on campus grounds. However, if we were to need access inside the building, we will simply use our access cards. We may have a little trouble recruiting participants but we think we will get a fine amount of data seeing that our survey is very short and should only take about a minute to complete. We may have some problems regarding coercion of the participants. This could be a problem especially if many people approach the gym as a group. Recording data from each one could promote a problem as individuality of the answers may dwindle due to peer pressure and self-conscious. Regarding consent forms, we will simply ask verbal consent from the participants as we first approach them while they walk up to the gym. We will keep the data anonymous for each participant, so consent forms and signatures will not be needed.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s