ANT 311 Research Paper

ANT 311 Research Paper - ANT311ResearchPaper...

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A N T 3 1 1 R e s e a r c h P a p e r Brownislaw Malinowski Olivia Vilardi Perez ANT 311 Professor Castro
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2 Bronislaw Malinowski to ethnography is like Darwin is to evolution; neither Malinowski nor Darwin were the first to come up with their respective ideas , they did, however , improve and popularize them. In practice and theory, Malinowski pioneered and perfected this subdivision of Anthropology through numerous influences and philosophies from his colleagues and heroes . Wartime forced him to relocate and work in the Trobriand Islands north of New Guinea . Throughout his life course, Malinowski and his theories have been both praised and criticized . His most criticized, yet reveled posthumous piece , Diary in the Strict Sense of the Term , is surrounded by many controversies , which make other anthropologists question ethnography as a whole. His life was surrounded by illnesses and he took that extremely poor hand he was dealt and turned it into a phenomenal career and posthumous fame . On April 7 th , 1884 in the Slavonic university town of Cracow, Bronislaw Malinowski , affectionately known as Bronio, was introduced to the world to his mother, Jozefa Lacka , and his father, Lucjan Malinowski. Lucjan Malinowski, his father, was a professor of Slavic philosophy at Jagiellonian University . He was also a prominent linguist , ethnographer and folklorist. Shortly after his birth his mother took him north of Cracow to Warsaw for the summer and entirety of the fall while his father remained teaching in Cracow . This visit to his mother’s house was one of many frequent separations from his father . After returning home, Lucjan was displeased to see that Jozefa and her family had spoiled little Bronio . It is important to note that Polish tradition
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3 shows a matrilineal society where noble women married men of lower status than themselves . In this society, women took pride in their heritage and those who were well educated , like Malinowski’s mother, knew many languages. Malinowski, during his childhood , was therefore tended to through numerous maternal family members (Young 2004: 25) . Not much is known of Malinowski’s childhood except what is shown through his father’s letters to Jaroslaw Goll . Through these letters we learn intimate details about Malinowski’s infant years and beyond . The following life history is through Lucjan’s eyes . Jozefa was unable to continue breast-feeding after two weeks forcing Bronislaw to depend on a slue of wet nurses . At 14 months, Bronio’s health became evidently fragile. His mother took him to Zakopane for the summer , which proved life saving. At the age of 4 , he became sick again. “He had a few fits or convulsions and is still very irritated, capricious” (Young 2004: 27) . Following doctors’ orders, his mother brought him to the ‘Ponice idyll .’ This sparked the continual separation from his father. After returning home from Ponice
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This note was uploaded on 02/29/2012 for the course ANT 311 taught by Professor Alfonsocastro during the Fall '09 term at Syracuse.

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ANT 311 Research Paper - ANT311ResearchPaper...

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