Response1 - the observers in Kitchen Stories Ted...

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Amber Chambers Anthro 106 Response Paper 1 February 7, 2008 Anthropologists working in the field must overcome several obstacles when attempting to understand another culture. They must learn both new things and how to view the culture from a neutral position. Preparation before going into the field is crucial. The anthropologist must learn the language if it is unfamiliar, such was the case with Ted Bestor, Margaret Mead, and Prof. Harper. If the anthropologist can not comprehend the interaction between his/her subjects, it is virtually impossible to gain an inclusive understanding of the culture. In addition to the language, s/he must be aware of the cultural norms in the field such as the way of thought, the meanings behind various gestures and actions, and the key concepts of the culture. This is especially important if the anthropologist wishes to be imbedded in the culture the way Ted Bestor was in the clip Tokyo Neighborhood . In stark contrast to
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Unformatted text preview: the observers in Kitchen Stories , Ted participated in the everyday activities of his subjects. In this way, the people felt more comfortable going about their lives while being observed. I also feel that this gave him a better view of the culture as a whole. Obstacles within the anthropologist also present themselves. It is natural that some people have ethnocentrism. They may believe that their way of life is superior to that of the culture they are studying. This would bias their results and create a poor understanding of said culture. Anthropologists need to familiarize themselves with culture-neutral terms and etic concepts and view have cultural relativity. Speaking from a non-biased standpoint can be one of the most challenging tasks in anthropology. Though it may be challenging to overcome the obstacles associated with becoming a great anthropologist, the outcome can very much be worth the effort....
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