Discuss what you see as the strengths and weaknesses of each of these three kinds of
Moral stance is being able to set aside one’s own beliefs in order to better
understand the behaviors, attitudes, actions or any other aspects of the subject society.
Judgment must not be cast based upon the anthropologists own morals and values as this
A strength of arresting one’s own social and cultural morals is the insight they
gain by not being in conflict within themselves, therefore unhindered by self-distraction.
The anthropologist can obtain their information untainted and unbiased, gathering
invaluable information on the uniqueness of the subject culture without the worry or fear
of causing insult. If one cannot impose a moral stance, they run the risk of obtaining
corrupt data based on their own internal conflict while possibly imposing their own
social, religious and cultural morals on the worlds many and various societies.
Methodological strategy is the learning of another society’s culture via books and
journals before beginning their field study.
With the methodological strategy, I see a strength in having prior knowledge of
not just some of the customs and rituals but also the beliefs of those the anthropologist is
preparing to study in the field. In beginning this way, one can see where studies have
focused on in the past and what is still needed to be learned. Then one can determine the
best course of action and make preparations. One can also note changes that have
occurred and how the culture has changed and why.
The downside to methodological strategy is they are learning from books; while
helpful there is a difference between book learning and applying what is learned.
Depending on the period of when the material was written and when the anthropologist is
planning their expedition many things could have changed and they may still be ill
prepared. The authors of these book and journals may also have placed their
interpretations of their observations due to the fact they may have not had anything to
compare it to for understanding. I could see this as being misleading.
Epistemological position is the viewing of each culture as independent and
incomparable to others based on the experiences of that particular society.
The strength in the epistemological position would be the ability to interact with a
society with no preconceived notions of other cultures or civilization around them. This
grants the anthropologist a clean slate to learn of their beliefs, morals, values and culture
through their histories and interactions. This seems best done when isolation has been a
If the epistemological position is used in a more modern society with interaction
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