African Ethnographies

What do Union College students think of when they think of Africa?

In the first class meeting of ANT192, "African Ethnographies," I asked the 34 students to freelist their responses to the frame "When I think of Africa, I think of ____________." All responses were anonymous, but I asked the students to list their year of graduation and gender. The average list was 7.8 items long and the longest had 28 items

I analyzed the data using ANTHROPAC, and then "cleaned" the data to combine substantively identical answers (e.g. "cultural diversity" and "diverse cultures" were edited to be counted as a single item).
original data
cleaned data

ANTHROPAC can sort results by Smith's S, a statistic that reflects the cognitive salience of items by taking into account both the frequency and the position of an item on the list--i.e. an item which is usually at the top of a list will have a higher Smith's S than an item which appears the same number of times but which is usually towards the bottom of a list. Here are the cleaned results sorted by Smith's S (RESP is the # of times the item appeared, PCT is the percentage of respondents listing the item, Avg. Rank is the average value of where the item appeared on the list). full data set

Update (July 2007) - this data may also be viewed as tag cloud

In the following screenshot, I've color-coded the results based on a classification of the answers (the color-coding was based on my judgment, not on evaluations elicited from the students):