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Anthropology- Lecture 2.docx

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Jack Sidnell

October 31, 2012 Anthropology: Lecture 2 What is ethnographic fieldwork? What is the anthropological method? What kinds of knowledge do we produce? Bronislav Malinowski (1884-1942) Argonauts: Caribbean Islands Trobriand Islands Malinowski: Fieldwork in Trobriand 1914-1918 He wrote a book that was about the exchange Kula ring - Ethnology has introduced law and order into what seemed chaotic and freakish  It has transformed for us the sensational, wild, and unaccountable world of “savages” into a number of well-ordered communities governed by law, behaving and thinking according to consistent principles… - The time when we could tolerate accounts presenting us the native as a distorted, childish caricature of a human being has gone. This picture is false, and like many other falsehoods, it has been killed by Science” Holism - Any approach that treats the whole as greater than the sum of its parts. Non- holistic approaches emphasize the role of the individual rather than the total social or cultural system within which s/he operates. - Methodological holism thus aims at understanding social life through social and cultural patterns. It is contrasted to methodological individualism, which is the position (advanced in philosophy, for example, by Karl Popper) that t
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