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Lecture 2

ANTA02H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Emic And Etic

Course Code
Maggie Cummings

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Introduction to Anthropology
Week 2, Lecture 2; Monday January 12th 2014
Class Overview:
What is culture? And how do anthropologists investigate it?
Key Terms/Names:
Fieldwork and ethnography
Fieldwork as rite of passage
Armchair anthropology
Participant Observation
Edward Tylor, James Frazer, Bronislaw Malinowski, Franz Boas
Ethnocentrism and Cultural Relativism
Fieldwork and ethnography:
Object of Anthropological Study: Culture
“If you want to understand what anthropology is, look at what anthropologists do.
Above all else, what anthropologists do is ethnography” (Monaghan and Just
2000: 13)
Ethnography (what anthropologists write) is, in turn, is based on fieldwork
What does ethnography/fieldwork accomplish?
Culture from “the natives point of view” (Malinowski; Geertz)
Thick description (Geertz again)
Context for knowledge about culture
“Live for extended periods with the people they are trying to understand”
Field work is what we do, ethnography is what we write
Natives point of view a.k.a emic (insider perspective)
Etic (outsider perspective)
Brief history of Anthropology
Philosophers and various explorers as “proto-anthropologists”
Victorian anthropology (Tylor and Frazer): evolutionary, hierarchy of
Comparative, second-hand accounts
Armchair anthropology”
“Off the Verandah” first to actually join field work and not only observe
Studied in Papua New Guinea
Two years of extensive experience in a single community
Went back to England and taught the significance of actually doing field work
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