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Observation One

Monday, September 20, 2015


Figured World: White Collar
Note: Indication of time is dependent on the actual show and observation notes on White
Collar are based off of thirty minutes worth of three individual episodes.
Actors: Individuals that play designated roles in a community or figured world.
Neal Caffrey: One of the world's greatest con artists in White Collar. After escaping from
prison and getting caught by the man who put him there in the first place, Peter Burk, Neal
strikes a bargain: In exchange for his freedom, Neal will help the FBI catch the most elusive
White Collar criminals in the country. He has been inspired by Peter as they have taken down
some of the most notorious criminals in the city. Over time, their relationship has deepened into a
real friendship.
Peter Burke: A federal agent in the FBI's White Collar Crime Unit. He believes in earning
success the old-fashioned way, with perseverance and hard work. It took him years to finally
catch elusive white-collar criminal Neal Caffrey. Despite his initial trepidations, Peter agreed to
take the crook on as a partner.
Mozzie: Neal Caffrey's most trusted friend and co-conspirator. He has deep ties to the criminal
underworld and can get just about anything for Neal, from classified secrets to cutting edge
technology. While Mozzie's allegiance may be with the underworld, that hasn't stopped him from
helping the FBI. His chooses to help the FBI as a favor for Neal. When he helps Neal with
complicated cases, it helps Neal get the spotlight and positive attention at the bureau.

Helpful Background Information: White Collar crimes and investigations take place in the
busy streets of Manhattan, NY. One of the prominent locations in the show is the FBI bureau.
They specialize in white collar crimes that are now synonymous to the full range of frauds
committed by business and government officials. Neal and Peter focus on forgery, fraud, and
identity theft related crimes in relationship to Neals history because this is what he's mastered as
a criminal in the past. The episodes do not include much of personal life stories or side
conversations, leading events to occur rapidly one after the other or resulting in a stagnant setting
(Workplace, coffee shop, and or brief moments at home).
Figured World: A cultural or social phenomenon in which people's roles and positions matter,
activities relevant to the figured world follow specific rules, and events or components of the
figured world are situated in particular times and places.

Rules and Conventions:


White Collar is a TV show that focuses on the strange crime-solving relationship
between a con artist and an FBI agent. In exchange for his freedom, the con artist, Neal Caffrey,
uses his expertise to help the FBI agent, Peter Burk, catch other white collar criminals. I wish to
observe this figured world because it portrays the message that there is hope for anyone who
seeks to redeem themselves and begin a new life after many wrongdoings and a life in the prison
system. It persuades people to give one another a second chance and to openly accept that
humans make mistakes.
In a leisurely sense, White Collar adds excitement and adventures to the process of
investigation done by the FBI agents and Neal Caffrey. In the literal/moral sense, its purpose is to
reveal the story behind every ex felons quest to regain the trust of society, family members,
close friends, and or coworkers. Each episode consists of a different crime that is to be solved by
the duo but amongst that comes certain rules and expectations. All though Neal is Peters partner,
he is not allowed to wander without a tracking anklet attached to his foot and he is not allowed to
conduct interviews and collect data without the presence of Peter and the rest of the FBI agents.
Neal is allowed to act out how a crime might have happened and he is allowed to recreate stolen
artifacts in order to compare and contrast the forged pieces to the authentic pieces. He's allowed
to communicate with the criminals in order to get an insight of what their target is and act as an
undercover cop who eventually leads criminals into a trap. While Neal is on the job, he usually
communicates with Peter through hidden gadgets in his clothes, text messages, and secretive
meetings.
Communities of practices found can be split into FBI agents, the white collar division
staff members, and Neal and his partnering criminals. The agents are focused on resolving
crimes and capturing most wanted criminals. The staff plays a role in preparing data, printing
analysis, and organizing meetings. Neal and his criminals both work together to progress as
forgers and share skills and techniques. Although Neal is openly involved with the FBI, he still
takes advantage of his job by reinforcing his forgery/artistic abilities and reliving his past life
as a criminal. By this, I mean he experiences the excitement and intensity of the crime scene
when investigating. He likes to put himself in the other criminals shoes and reenact what he
could and would have done himself.
Artifacts: Important symbols, objects, or ideas that play a role in the figured world or
community of practice and have a significant meaning to them.
Paintings, Coins & Historic Documents: Forgery of famous art pieces and items displayed in
New Yorks most prestigious museums is what brought Neal Caffrey to become one of the
famous forgers within white collar criminals. This is also what lured the FBI into partnership
with Neal because he is so talented and capable of recreating pieces that are very hard to
differentiate from the original.
Tracking Anklet: This represents the line drawn by the FBI to reiterate that Neal will always be
considered an ex-felon regardless of his position in society. Removing the tracking anklet and

repeatedly attempting to decode its system for personal errands also proves that the criminal life
has left a print on Neals mentality.
Community of Practice: A collection of people initiated by those who share the same interest
in a certain subject and or the desire to learn and expand in a particular field. It usually
involves group learning sessions, observations, trials, etc, that help the community progress as
a whole while each individual furthers his or her knowledge.

Federal Bureau of Investigation: The FBI works together to protect the United States from
terrorist attacks, uphold and enforce criminal laws and to provide leadership and criminal justice
services. Their White Collar division plays a vital role in capturing New Yorks largest forgers
and other criminals.

Pink Panthers: The Pink Panthers are the FBIs most wanted group of businessmen and
accountants that work together to forge bank accounts and twist company transactions for their
personal advantage. Their shared ways of learning involve meetings to teach and reinforce
techniques and working together to induct new members that meet their criteria in order to create
new strategies and further expand their mafia.
Neal & Peter: This dynamic duo is the essence of the show itself. They are both given cases in
which Neal uses his artistic ability and previous knowledge of the streets of New York as a
criminal for a leading advantage to collecting evidence and Peter uses his legal abilities and
connections with corporations and facilities in order to succeed in capturing people.
Domain: The area of interest/topic to be researched, analyzed, and observed by the
community. It is what differentiates one community of practice from the other because it is
specific to only the members of one specified community.
Solving White Collar Crimes: What brings Neal to partner with the FBI is the shared domain of
utilizing skills and resources to capture criminals that forge and sell historic art pieces, jewelry,
merchandise, etc. to others as authentic.
Neals Freedom: Neals freedom of the FBI becomes a shared domain amongst Mozzie, his best
friend and roommate, and himself. Although they usually come to their senses before executing
most illegal actions, theyve both spent many nights conducting possible escape routes for Neal
to escape the country. They also work together to create a detailed contract that Neal can present
to the FBI to end his partnership and become a free man.
Practices of the Community: The strategic methods and components used to expand the
communitys focus (the domain). It can be viewed as the way the community goes about its
work. This may include collecting documents, sharing ideas, personal stories, interviews, etc.

Gathering Evidence & Conducting Interviews: The FBI collects, analyzes, and disseminates
information and gathers evidence that aid in criminal prosecution. They recognize odd chains of
criminal activity, resemblance of crimes within one area, and partnerships of mafias and
individual criminals with one another.
Differentiating Real from Authentic: Neal uses his artistic skills, brilliant out-of-the box
thinking and ability to charm his way out of or into anything he wants to identify stolen artifacts,
reenact crimes in order to make more sense of the scenario, and repaint famous pieces to trick
criminals into buying them (this is when he gets suspects to fall into his undercover trap).
Literacy practices: The tools/devices, form of communication, and execution practices that are
written or spoken.
FBI Gadgets: These tools are attached to Neal and Peters clothing while they are on the job to
have constant contact with the FBI stationed vans and staff at the division in case of emergencies
and for exchange of immediate information.
Shoe Transmitters: This recording device installed at the bottom of a
shoe is used to track and record the movement and conversation of those
around the agent with the shoe on.
Coat Camera: This small camera is concealed in a buttonhole and has a
control switch that the wearer can automate off and on when recording.
Multi-purpose Pen: This pen contains a camera, small knife, laser, and a
microphone for recording.
Staff Meetings: These meetings are conducted before, during, and after a case is addressed. This
helps keeps everyone on the same page, consult members of new strategies, and to present new
information that has been collected throughout the investigation process.
The Interview: UNCC Police Officer
Note: The police department practices precautions when being interviewed. The police officer
was hesitant of some interview questions. Therefore some answers may be brief or
generalized.
Please reflect on redemption programs or Turn Your Life Around programs that are offered to
felons that desire to begin a new chapter of their life.
Answer: Programs like that help ex criminals get back on their feet and fix their
mistakes. These are especially helpful in juvenile detention as teenagers are able to turn their
lives around and attend college.
Identify the critical differences between the crime investigation process in the real world and
what is portrayed on television shows.

Answer: Most television shows present officers collecting evidence in illegal manners
that are not accepted in reality. Most cops tend to invade ones privacy, conduct searches without
warranties, etc.
Tell me what concerns you about Neals involvement with the FBI considering he's an ex-felon.
Answer: I believe Neal is given too much legal trust. I believe in second chances but i
believe the FBI is too serious of a job for him.
Do you think involving an ex-felon in an FBI department is a realistic thing that may occur in
real life? If so, under what possible circumstances would it occur?
Answer: The chances of that happening is very rare. Agents in reality do not befriend
their criminals and create friendships. Criminals are not allowed to hold personal conversations
with officials or bribe them into a deal like Neals.
Are the restriction imposed on Neal considered reasonable? Do you think he has too much
freedom while working with the FBI?
Answer: Neal should not be trusted to interact with ex rivals or partners because it may
lead to him revisiting his past life.
Student Survey/Interview

Do you think redemption programs in and out of prison are beneficiary?


Student One Answer: Yes, redemption programs that include educational
and recreational activities help give convicts a sense of belonging.
Student Two Answer: I believe that the programs inside prisons aid in
maintaining at least the general education level amongst convicts. Some
also help enforce hobbies and skills that were neglected.

How are these programs promoting their services and are these services working?
Student One Answer: Some programs offer certificates of completion,
monetary exchanges, shelter, and or food for those who participate. This
may help someone get back on their feet after being unemployed.
Student Two Answer: When seeking a job, an employer would like to
see dedication and things that differentiate you from others through your
resume. When a convict graduates from such programs, it is evident that
they have had a sense of schooling and etiquette that may help him/her get
the job.

What is one thing you would change about these programs?


Student One Answer: I would provide varieties of fields to study such as
the basics to architecture or Biology. I feel as though these programs offer
the basics in math, reading, and writing but not expand minds to different
fields.
Student Two Answer: I would like to add internships and job interviews
for prisoners with little to no time left till their release so they can have a
job once theyre out.

After listening to the students additions, I researched the diversity of


prison programs and found that Pet programs have started to partner
with certain prisons to teach inmates the above skills. This is considered
a good step in expanding the prisons fields of study.

Observation One
Season 6, Episode 2
5 Minutes:
The episode begins at Peters house on an ordinary work day. Peter is attempting to fix a sewage
problem in the kitchen sink in preparation for his baby boy who is to be delivered soon by his
wife Elle. Peter and Elle exchange casual conversation until they are interrupted by Neal who
stops by to check up on Elle since he hasn't seen her since she moved back to Manhattan from
DC. Neal and Peter share coffee as they walk to work in the busy streets of Manhattan, New
York.

10 Minutes:
Neal readdresses his previous proposal that was presented to Peter. The proposal included Neal
capturing a group of Manhattans most wanted business criminals known as the Pink Panthers in
exchange for his complete freedom including an ending contract with the FBI. Peter shares that
he has talked to the head of their division and that they are prepared to take Neals offer but also
warns him that dealing with the Pink Panthers comes with many risks. Neal puts a completed and
detailed contract on the table for Peter to read. He states that Peter and the head of the division
must sign the contract before he helps capture the Pink Panthers because he does not trust the
FBI to grant him his freedom as they have been unreliable in previous times where they
promised to release him as a free man.
17 Minutes:
Peter and Neal sit in their office and discuss possible plans and interactions with the Pink
Panthers. They both decide that Neal is to audition for a spot in the Pink Panthers as a smart and
sneaky businessman who's interested in teaming with the Panthers for personal gain. Peter is then
forced to remove Neals tracking anklet so the Panthers do not suspect Neal of any fishy activity
while they conduct their security search on Neal as an auditioning potential member. Neal makes
his first meet with the Panthers at a deserted building in Manhattan, only to be surprised to find
long-time rival Matthew Keller also in attendance. It isnt long before hes given his first
induction assignment - to steal a valuable stamp within 48 hours or else risk his newfound
membership.
22 Minutes:
Neal returns to the FBI van up the street and reports what happened in his induction meeting.
Peter was immediately hesitant when he discovered that Keller was involved, but reluctantly
agrees to participate in order to help Neal, knowing Keller will face judgment soon. Everyone
goes back to the office, gathers their stuff, and heads home. The next morning Peter and Neal
meet at a coffee shop downtown and they discuss who they can get the stamp from. Matters are
only made more complicated when Neal must introduce himself as a popular artifact buyer,
Nathaniel Dietrich, to a wealthy Hispanic woman who has the stamp that is to be obtained. She is
selling it on the black market and conducting intense interviews with her potential buyers in
order to assure the stamp is sold to the most convenient person. She refuses to negotiate with
Neal agreeing only to meet with his father, Elias Dietrich, and Peter is forced to step into the
interview and act like Neals father. With his help, Neal is able to pull it off.
30 minutes:
Trouble comes when the FBI is forced to report the stamp to an international registry in order to
locate its international owner. Peter forbids Neal to continue pursuing the Panthers, but he did so
anyway by creating a forgery. Neal is brought here in the scene creating a fake stamp to hand to
the FBI. Peter is in the Attorney Generals office showing him Neals contract that is to be
signed. After a couple questions, he eventually convinces the Attorney General to sign the
contract. Peter then walk out of the office and heads home. He runs into Neal and shares the
news of Elles pregnancy.
Season 6, Episode 3

5 Minutes: Mozzie and Neal discuss Kellers reappearance and his possible intentions as they
walk back to their apartment. Neal casually compliments females as they walk and he shakes
hands with street associates. Mozzie shares his gift for Elle, Peters wife, and expresses that him
and Elle are building a friendship while Neal and Peter are at work. As they approach their
apartment, Neal gets a call from the Pink Panthers urging him to meet them at a designated spot
to take on his first task. Neal appears at his assigned location and gets scanned by the security of
any weapons or secret gadgets.
12 Minutes: The leader of the Pink Panthers orders Neal and Keller to break into a high tech
security firm and make a copy of a top-secret digital file stored in a vault in a museum. Neal isnt
exactly savoring the opportunity to relive old times with his former partner, and hes very
unhappy to learn that the only way to get close to the vault will be to seduce the trusting assistant
to guide him to it. While Neal is with the Panthers, Peter and the FBI dig into Kellers
background. They come to find that Keller is working with a group called Interpol and that he is
being sent to observe the Pink Panthers and their strategies for their own advantage. It isnt long
before they make the acquaintance of Luc Renaud, the Interpol agent who is in charge of Keller.
They call him into the division to have a meeting and Peter can sense Renauds disdain for the
FBIs authority from the start. When it becomes clear that theyll make more headway together
than they will separately, Peter has little choice but to enter into a temporary alliance with
Interpol in order to better track the Pink Panthers.
19 Minutes: Elsewhere, Elizabeth turns to Diana, a close coworker of Peter, with questions
about motherhood and expressed that she's beginning to worry that Peters job will steal him
away from his fatherly role. Diana explains that she trusts that Peter will do a great job with time
management and spending quality time with his newborn. Neal and Keller approach the museum
they were assigned to and they examine its structure and floor plan. They also do their research
on what kind of security system the building uses and how the security guards schedules are
setup. Neal pretends to be a charming tourist as he introduces himself to the targeted assistant.
He shows interest of the art pieces and ask questions on the history and making of some
sculptures. The assistant is thrilled to meet someone that seems actively engaged in art and
history. Neal then offers to take her out for coffee the next day and they exchange contact
information.
25 Minutes: Neal is seen walking the streets of New York comfortably while a cup of coffee is
in hand. He then makes his way to the FBI office and meets with Peter. The meeting commenced
as the door was shut firmly. Peter stated that although there is partnership, Neal must always
remember that he has strict guidelines to follow and that if he is caught doing any out of bounds
activity outside of his designated case, he will suffer severe consequences. Neal gets offended
and responds that he should be given more trust. He then heads back to his apartment to find
Mozzie on his laptop in the living room. Mozzie shows signs of sadness.
30 Minutes: After being questioned repeatedly, Mozzie tells Neal that he is tired of helping him
with cases and not being able to take credit for some of his own work. He demands to be
introduced to the Pink Panthers and Neal denies this request because of his claim that it will
interfere with the FBIs investigation. Mozzie quietly finishes his glass of wine and exits the
apartment.

Season 6, Episode 4
6 Minutes: The morning starts off in Neals bedroom as he just received a message from the
Pink Panthers for his daily task. He stops by the FBI division to follow up with Peter and Peters
tells him that radio silence from the Pink Panthers has him worried that the targets of their
investigation have gone underground. While Neal ponders why the Panthers are shutting him
out, the rest of the FBI hopes the Atlas Tech algorithm can shed some light on the Panthers
master plan.
15 Minutes: Meanwhile, Mozzie gets a visit from the last person he ever expected to see his
wife! It turns out that back when Neal was doing time, Mozzie got hitched got married to a
fellow con artist named Eva Perkins. They seemed to be the perfect match until Eva abandoned
Mozzie, taking his half of their latest score with her. They walk across a boardwalk and share life
stories in the past years. Mozzie thinks his former flame has returned to rekindle their romance,
but it turns out Eva isnt back to reclaim her man she wants a divorce so she can marry the new
guy in her life.
22 Minutes: Mozzie becomes jealous of this and goes home to investigate Evas soon to be
fianc. Research shows he's head of a foundation for disadvantaged children named Jack Conroy.
Incredulous at (and perhaps wounded by) her change of heart, Mozzie calls Eva and insists that
she must be using Jack as her next mark. Eva argues back and eventually hangs the phone up.
Mozzie requests that Neal looks into Evas recent criminal profile and the profile of her fianc as
well. He hints that he believes her fianc is stealing money from the charity.
30 Minutes: Neal feels guilty that Mozzie isn't getting credited for some work so he decides to
do him a favor by looking into Mozzies assumptions of Eva and her fianc. However, when it
turns out that Evas fianc may not be as squeaky clean as he seems, Neal worries that Eva is
planning to hurt Mozzie or frame him of a dirty robbery act her and her fianc may commit.
Mozzie insists that Eva would never do such a thing and states that people should be given
second chances. He claims he has forgiven Eva for abandoning him and that everyone
experiences a point in time where they want to find themselves so he understands why Eva has
abandoned him.