Verbal Snapshot
Aaron Rasmussen

As we walk to the party, my 20 year old buddy Brett and I are stopped at the door. For a brief moment we are afraid we might be carded. The music is buzzing from in the house. The young man at the door looks at us and asks “Do you have like 5$ bucks for the keg?”
We each hand him a few dollars and he lets us by. As we walk in we find the keg and the red cups and while my friend fills us up a few beers I look around and I spot a few drinkers that look to be 18 or 19. I walk to them with a beer in my hand and I begin conversing. I eventually make it to asking them their age. As I had guessed 2 of them were 19. It was their first year in Chico State. One of their favorite songs began playing and they began to chant along with it. This is the party life. This is where underage drinking begins and remains until the subject has reached 21. Their was a dj in the corner of the house and their were a lot of people standing outside the house and hanging up top over the balcony. Some of the older on lookers on the balcony were looking down, like kings of their domain. By the end of the night I watched my newly made underage friends make it outside. They walk right passed the police, who seem unconcerned. The police were on horses and they were even laughing. They seemed like they were just there to make sure nothing got out of hand and that no fights or anything of the sort erupted.

Underage Drinking
Aaron Rasmussen

Proposal Doc. English 1A
Mon/Wed. 2-5

My proposal for my Ethnographic research is underage drinking. I chose this topic for multiple reasons. I am curious to know how this subculture even exists. It seems that most of underage drinkers already have there “source” to buy liquor and other alcoholic beverages. I wonder if most underage drinkers get hooked on the substance or the possibility that they just do it because of their friends. Or maybe they don’t want to be the “square” at the party. It interests me on what social clichés tend to drink more and how they came to drink. I am sure some of them just do it off and on. One other thing I am interested in is how they manage to not get caught. I have heard that most underage drinking begins at a party. How are there parents not aware of what’s happening?
I believe that I can reasonably gain access to my project by simply going to one of these parties. From what I have seen and heard, it is not hard to do. If I bring a few dollars and maybe someone that is 21 with a bottle of Vodka or Rum, I am sure to be invited into the house. The process seems simple after that. Casually just make conversation with people, and ask them about the party and how they like the party life and what they think their reasons for drinking are. Inserting me into the community should be fairly easy, I could just drink or maybe have some friends around me that are drinking. A lot of my friends are big time party goers, and I go to a couple occasionally. Realistically as long as you look somewhat youthful and you know how to dress, you will be accepted at one of these parties.
Informants might be a problem the reasons being simple, there not 21. The only way I have guaranteed informants it seems anyways is if I go to one of these parties. One idea that crossed my mind is that maybe they will be easier to talk to after they have been under the influence. They may be easier to confront and it seems that I may be able to receive their true feelings on the subject. Whether or not they actually even want to drink or if they were just pushed into doing it. Maybe while I am talking to them I will ask them if they would be willing to do an interview while they are sober. If this idea of finding someone at a party fails I have a couple other ideas I could ask a few of my friends to be interviewed. Or maybe I could ask a friend who knows someone that wouldn’t be squeamish about the subject. I really don’t think it will be that hard to find someone willing to discuss their underage drinking with me. Information will also be gathered this way. I will observe my surroundings and see how it all happens.
There are lots of possible problems for my investigations. A lot of these parties are private meaning they allow no one that isn’t on the list. Another big issue is the idea that a lot of these people will not want to converse with me. Whether it be that they feel in secure about the subject or maybe they are just to “screwed up” and they aren’t actually able to talk. One other issue is it may be hard to conduct and interview or find informants if I am required to partake in the drinking activities. Maybe I could bring a friend that stays sober. Bringing a recording tape to one of these events seems not likely because it would just look suspicious and it would have everyone on edge especially if they are 21 because they become responsible for everyone that is underage. I think the biggest issue is when interviewing them they will not want to discuss on how they receive liquor.
In conclusion I am very excited to do this Ethno report. It seems like it influences society in so many ways. I mean if you look at most of these teenagers they will be drinking throughout high school and college, and later on in life how will that affect their allowance of their children to do the same things. For that matter how many of these parties actually lead to children. I wonder what the statistic for party goers and birth rate is. Do most of the women at these parties actually even encounter the idea that they might become under the influence and have some fun with a random guy and end up having a child? This project seems full of potential and it could be useful and interesting both all in the same.

Interview 1
Aaron Rasmussen

English 1A Mon/Wedn 2-5

An Interview between a friend and me, his name is Michael he is 20 he goes to Shasta College, he is married and it seems on the verge of divorce and he also lives in Redding. Here is the interview that we conducted.
Aaron: Hi, Michael I am conducting this interview for a research project in one of my classes as I already mentioned before, and it is about the use of underage drinking. You recently just turned 20 is that correct?
Michael: “laughs” This feels so weird talking to you like this, but yes I turned 20 in September.
Aaron: Ya I know, anyways obviously my next question must be this. Do you drink even if only on occasion?
Michael: Yes, actually I do quite a bit, with my friends and well to be honest, sometimes with you in Chico.
Aaron: Eh, only sometimes. “laughs” But anyways continue.
Michael: I usually drink Heineken or when I really want to get trashed, I drink hard shit, like Burnett’s or some sort of rum.
Aaron: So how do you usually obtain your liquor or beer?
Michael: Oh it varies, but most of the time its pretty easy I have one specific friend that lives close who is 22. If he usually isn’t around I have a couple other hookups.
Aaron: Well why do you think you like to get “trashed”? I mean isn’t it illegal for you right now and everything anyways?
Michael: Eh the way I figure that law is fucking stupid, you can go over to Iraq and kill yourself in the military but you can’t have something to drink? That’s retarded. As for your question of why, well I can’t really explain it. It like makes me speak my mind, and I really like that.
Aaron: Does it affect your marriage at all? Does Ashley (Michaels wife) like it or no?
Michael: “laughs” Oh Aaron its funny you mention her and she doesn’t really mind it to much, but I usually go over to Brittany’s to get messed up.
Aaron: Okay you can tell me about that one after this thing’s over. “laughs” Alright, um let’s see here. So you say when you drink it makes you speak your mind? Can’t that catch you into trouble?
Michael: Oh’ you have no idea. Let’s just say that, well I get into relationship trouble when I go over to Brittany’s and were both hammered.
Aaron: Oh, well that’s something interesting. Have you ever thought about quitting?
Michael: “Fuck no” As long as I am taking care of my classes and education I see no reason to have fun. Oh and well I guess as long as no one gets hurt.
Aaron: Alright Michael well thank you for taking your time with me here.
Michael: No problem. You actually reminded me I have a beer in the fridge.