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Very Short Introduction Midterm Notes

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Maggie Cummings

A SocialCultural AnthropologyA Very Short IntroductionChapter 1Fieldwork and EthnographyTo understand what anthropology is you have to understand what anthologists do Ethnography y Ethnographybased on the apparently simple idea that in order to understand what people are up to it is best to observe them by interacting with them intimately and over an extended people of time participant observation y Anthropology does not dismiss methods such as the use of questionnaires or the collection of quantitative behaviroural data However they feel this method may cause misleading understandings of the people studies especially when they come from unfamiliar societies Anthropology was distinguished by its concentration on socalled primitive societies relatively small nonWestern communities where social institutions appeared to be fairly limited Not so as it turns out y Social interaction was conducted facetoface y Provided anthropologists with a simplified view the elementary working of their society one that contrasted the Western societyy The way of life in these small societies was rapidly disappearing thus it was important to preserve a record for prosperity Fieldwork can sometimes be challenging for some anthropologists especially in the beginning feeling alienated and lonely However some say they become so involve in their host community that they become native and never return homey Participant observation seems to be the most effective way to understand other ways of which other people see the world and interact with itPeters fieldwork with the Dou Donggo his developed interest in anthropology of law y The story was about how la Ninde was wrongfully accused of assaulting ina Mone when really she had set him up because he was talking to la Fia who was betrothed to another man alreadyy It is practiced in Dou Donggo that one never discusses a dispute after it is settledtherefore historians would have trouble having assess to this case y This case had no official statistics and therefore would be invisible to a sociologist or criminologisty To an anthropologist this case would have less to do with assault and more about the respect for the institution of marriage a case of assault may really be a case about alienation of affection y The fact that Peter was a member of the community and just happened to be in the area when the incident happened is the reason he was able to make
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