John Howard Griffin.

In sociology we are looking at research methods and how to gain access to closed groups (those who don’t wish to be studied) such as the police, criminal gangs and transnational corporations.

We came across a guy names John Howard Griffin whom wanted to see what life was like to be black and in order to do so, he tanned his skin so dark, he passed for a black man. The pictures I saw were incredible. I was expecting to come out looking a pale mixed race guy but oh now, he looked like a fully fledged African man.

He started out  a very white colour and I was surprised he didn’t just burn and crisp but he didn’t and so he must have some sort of Mediterranean roots or something. I thought it was simply amazing how a researcher would really go that far into investigating a hypothesis and really establish that sense of ‘verstehen’ – putting yourself into someone else’s shoses, experiencing what life was like for them.

He experienced much racism and discrimmination and for a white man to experience this, it must have been a massive eye opener and he gained some very valuable research from this.

Such a great sociologist.



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