Lecture04.0114 - Friendship and the Field Roy Rappaport on Anthropology Anthropology defined"The study of the human condition the holistic

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1 1 Friendship and the Field The Informant…. The Anthropologist…. And the Place of Friendship in Fieldwork Lecture 04, 01/14/11 2 Roy Rappaport on Anthropology Anthropology defined: "The study of the human condition; the holistic exploration of what it means to be a human being by understanding humanity's past, present, and future through an understanding of human biology, language, culture, and society.” the human condition: “...the nature of humanity, a species that lives, and can only live, in terms of meanings it must construct in a world devoid of intrinsic meaning but subject to physical law.” Lecture 04, 01/14/11 3 Common Ground in Method An anthropological attitude: -- Suspension of judgment in order to understand -- generosity of spirit A sense that we must "live with" not separate; we must enter into these lives A key word: rapport Lecture 04, 01/14/11 4 Trail to Timling, Nepal Lecture 04, 01/14/11 5 Lecture 04, 01/14/11 6 A Place & A People: The Tamang Lecture 04, 01/14/11
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2 7 Method in Anthropology Our methods follow from what anthropology is as a discipline: the study of the human condition But the methods of cultural anthropology are distinguished by their focus on concrete people. You could say that we are “person centered” Lecture 04, 01/14/11 8 Lecture 04, 01/14/11 9 The Concreteness of What We Do Here a house or a person has only the most limited of his meaning through me: his true meaning is much huger. It is that he exists, in actual being, as you do or as I do, and as no character of the imagination can possibly exist. His great weight, mystery, and dignity are in this fact. James Agee, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men Lecture 04, 01/14/11 10 November 2005 Conversation TF: Yhebe, we’ve know each other for 24 years now. SG: Yes, 24 years. Much has happened. You’ve grown. TF: I’ve always wondered: why did you decide to help me 24 years ago? SG: Ah! I saw something. Besides, you needed me. Lecture 04, 01/14/11 11 February 2007 From: Fr. Cap Miller Date: February 2, 2007 6:56:17 AM To: TomF Subject: Sirman Ghale Dear Tom, I received the news yesterday that Sirman passed away "a few days ago" in Tipling. No details as yet. I will be going there later this month (dep. Feb. 17, via Dhading Besi) with Dr Paul Tomei. Sirman - and you - have been filling my thoughts and prayers. Lecture 04, 01/14/11 12 Sirman Ghale 1925-2007 Lecture 04, 01/14/11
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3 13 Informants Consultants… Teachers… Collborators… A term used by many anthropologists to describe those upon whom the field worker especialy relies for information. Lecture 04, 01/14/11 14 Sirman as a “Key Informant” All the classic earmarks: slightly unusual in his own setting able to anticipate what the anthropologist wants Lecture 04, 01/14/11 15 Anthropological Field Manuals on Relationship Concerns: -- “frustrated” anthropologists and “difficult” informants -- informant’s “motives” and anthropologist’s “roles,” -- rapport, status, and reliability. But what about “friendship”?
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This note was uploaded on 01/23/2012 for the course ANTHRO 101 taught by Professor Peters during the Winter '08 term at University of Michigan.

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Lecture04.0114 - Friendship and the Field Roy Rappaport on Anthropology Anthropology defined"The study of the human condition the holistic

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