The Ethnography of Communication.pptx

Sociology and psychology to gain a global

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sociology and psychology To gain a global understanding of the viewpoints and values of a community as a way of explaining the attitudes and behaviour of its member. Anthropological studies 20
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Saville-Troike (1982:118-34) Participant-observation Introspection observation interviewing Philology ethnosemantics ethnometodology 21
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Participant-observation (do) The staple method that has served anthropology for a long time absolutely required for the ethnographic analysis of cultures that the ethnographer does not belong to. to find out what beliefs and values motivate a community of people, the investigators must go as far as he or she can towards becoming a part of the community. Filling a role that makes sense in that setting, usually, the investigator has to be content with the role of a relative outsider, and even the role of a guest or stranger. The investigator tries to learn to see the world just as the member of community see it, no matter how foreign that may be to his/her experience so far. 22
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Participant-observation (don’t) The investigator has to avoid passing judgement on the community’s customs. Example : in conducting research in a community where sick people were treated by incantations. No competent ethnographer would ever report that aspect of the culture as a “silly superstition”. But he/she would attempt to understand the community point of view that is a valid and efficacious way to heal someone. Example: Maccera tasi’ in Palopo and Rambu solo’ in Toraja 23
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Introspection The investigator tries to analyse his/her own values and behaviours and those of the people in his/her community. This is not as easy as it sounds, because the way people operate in their own culture is automatic and largely below the level of conscious awareness. As a result, important facts that a participant-observer in a foreign culture would notice almost immediately might be overlooked entirely Furthermore, it can be extremely uncomfortable to have to function in the community after the certain formerly implicit rules have been made explicit. In the objective analysis of someone’s own culture the analysis might bring out some of the less flattering practices of the community. 24
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The dangers from using P- O/introspection Participant-observation demands considerable commitment to the research. The researcher spends months-more often years-in the community before he/she feels confident of understanding their outlook. In developing parts of the world, this will mean accepting a reduced material standard of living for that length of time. Ethnographers must be very careful that the understanding they think they have is really accurate since learning second cultures.
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