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Western University
Anthropology 1025F/G
Sherry Larkin

WEEK 2 How do Anthropologists Study Culture? ETHNOGRAPHIC FIELDWORK Armchair Anthropology People who practiced anthropology without field work. Historical Particularism Franz Boas: Salvage Anthropology Claimed that one must look at a particular society and get all the information one can. Thought that the people would disappear, so recorded everything. Particularism Structural Functionalism A.R. Radcliffe-Brown: Structure Field work west of Thailand. He wanted to know how society worked (institutions). He wanted to know what held societies together. Bronislaw Malinowski: Function Participant - Observation Looking for the Native's Point of View We can’t become natives of another society, we already are natives. Wasn’t interested in society, he was interested in the individual, psychological needs (food, shelter, safety). He theorized if enough individual needs changed, the societal practices would change to meet those needs, certain practices would fall by the wayside and others would be created. Scientific Fieldwork Positivism Positivist Science Facts = What is Values = What ought to be Reality can be known through sight smell touch and sound. Materialistic view of reality. Values deviate from facts. Objective Knowledge Goal = discover natural laws Margaret Mead Student of Boaz. Studied adolescents Controlled Comparison Mead's Question – is adolescence different in different societies Hypothesis - If adolescence is biological, it should be emotionally the same in all societies. But if there are cultural stresses on adolescents there should be widespread differences Method – travelled to Samoa. Conclusions – cultural values change adolescents Family Structure – everyone acts as each other’s relatives Life is Simpler in Samoa – children not faced with the number of choices. (what are you going to be when you grow up) the children in Samoa have basic chores but don’t spend their days streamlining themselves towards a career Life is Less Controlled in Samoa – sexual freedom, encouraged to experiment sexual. Once you are married, they stop. It’s as much a part of learning as learning to cook. Derek Freedman Life in samoa is much more constrained, not as different as mead assumed Life After Positivism EX) Annette Weiner and Malinowski Similar field work, differences in time, however made huge differences in findings. Gender, race, age of anthropologist makes a difference in wha
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