Chapter 3 - Chapter 3 Method and Theory in Cultural...

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Chapter 3 – Method and Theory in Cultural Anthropology: ETHNOGRAPHY: ANTHROPOLOGY’S DISTINCTIVE STRATEGY Anthropology developed into a separate field as early scholars worked on Native American reservations and traveled to distant lands to study small groups of foragers and cultivators Ethnographers have tried to understand the whole of a particular culture Ethnology provides a foundation for generalizations about human behavior and social life ETHNOGRAPHIC TECHNIQUES: 1) Direct, firsthand observation of behavior, including participant observation a. They must pay attention to hundreds of details of daily life, seasonal events, and unusual happenings. b. Many record their impressions in a personal diary which is kept separate from their field notes. c. They strive to establish rapport , a good, friendly working relationship based on personal contact with their hosts 2) Conversation with varying degrees of formality, from the daily to prolonged interviews a. Using an interview schedule , the ethnographer talks face-to-face with people using a form (guide) that is structured and formal, but personal b. A questionnaire is a form used by sociologists to obtain information from respondents. They tend to be more indirect and impersonal; often the respondent fills out the form. 3) The genealogical method a. A well established ethnographic technique that uses diagrams and symbols to record kin connections. 4) Detailed work with key cultural consultants or informants a. People who by accident, experience, talent, or training can provide the most complete or useful information about a particular aspects of life. 5)
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Chapter 3 - Chapter 3 Method and Theory in Cultural...

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