cultural anthropology_chapter3notes

cultural anthropology_chapter3notes - Chapter 3 Method and...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Chapter 3: Method and Theory in Cultural Anthropology Ethnography: Anthropology’s Distinctive Strategy Early ethnographers lived in small-scale, relatively isolated societies with simple technologies and economies o Greater cultural uniformity and less social differentiation than large, modern, industrial nations Ethnography provides a foundation for generalizations about human behavior and social life Ethnographic Techniques Observation and Participant Observation Staying a bit more than a year in the field allows the ethnographer to repeat the season of his or her arrival, when certain events and processes may have been missed because of initial unfamiliarity and culture shock Many ethnographers record their impressions in a personal diary, which is kept separate from more formal field notes o Observations might include: distinctive smells, noises people make, how they cover their mouths when they eat, and how they gaze at each other Ethnographers strive to establish rapport with their hosts, so they will be allowed to participate in events and processes they are observing o Allows them to learn why people find such events meaningful Conversation, Interviewing, and Interview Schedules Stages in learning a field language: Naming – asking name after name of the objects around us Able to pose more complex questions and understand the replies Able to understand simple conversations between two villagers Able to understand rapid-fire public discussions and group conversations Ethnographic survey: Interview schedule – form (guide) used to structure a formal, but personal, interview o Ethnographer asks people questions face-to-face and writes down the answers o Helps establish rapport by meeting almost everyone in the village Questionnaire – form used by sociologists to obtain comparable information from respondents o Tend to be more indirect and impersonal o Often the respondent fills in the form Page | 1
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
The Genealogical Method Genealogical method – using diagrams and symbols to record kinship, descent, and marriage Anthropologists collect genealogical data to understand current social relations and to reconstruct history Rules and behavior attached to particular kin relations are basic to everyday life Marriage is crucial in organizing nonindustrial societies because strategic marriages between villages, tribes, and clans create political alliances Key Cultural Consultants Key cultural consultants – expert on a particular aspect of local life People who by accident, experience, talent, or training can provide the most complete or useful information Life Histories Life history – of a key consultant; a personal portrait of someone’s life in a culture Provides a more intimate and personal cultural portrait than would be possible otherwise Reveal how specific people perceive, react to, and contribute to changes that affect their lives Can illustrate diversity Local Beliefs and Perceptions, and the Ethnographer’s
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 03/26/2011 for the course SOC 258 taught by Professor Houser during the Spring '11 term at Lehigh Carbon CC.

Page1 / 12

cultural anthropology_chapter3notes - Chapter 3 Method and...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online