Jan 2011 Craft of Socio-Cultural Ant.

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14 Feb 2011
School
Department
Course
Professor
Ant210H1S the Boasian Tradition, AAA controversy and Going Native
1/18/11
House Keeping:
Presentations should be around five minutes which include your reflections and findings and also your
research question
Your observations should be around five hours total
Ethical issues: research proposals (in general, not in class) should include the level of burden to the
participants and any physical risks which are involved, the location and the subject of your research.
When conducting your observations (and especially with interviews), you should consistently inform
your informant of how their information is likely to/can be used and the level of confidentiality you
have agreed to (informed consent is key, you should be able to translate your anthropology into layman
rhetoric and interviews should ideally resemble a conversation between friends). If you haven't talked
with a person in your field, you must not ask for informed consent.
The emic (humanistic) and the etic (scientific, quantitative)
Lecture: On Boas
Professor Kalocsai: Boas criticizes Tylor's statistical approach, proposing the collection of data as a
means of restoring equality to the participant and the observer (humanism)
Boas conducts 1-4 month periods of field research (never more than a year ± in contrast with
Malinowski who advocated staying for longer) along various regions of North Western North America
approximately 40 separate times
Boas' data consists of collecting historical documents of vanishing people in the native language,
which shoXOGLGHDOO\EH³XQWRXFKHGE\WKH(XUR-$PHULFDQREVHUYHU´
Boas' version of ethnography is less open to multiple interpretations and analysis (supposedly) as this
collecting of historical data created a static portrait of community life.
Class Discussion: Theory and Ethics of Ethnography (continued and general)
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