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ANTH 1120 (3)
Chapter 2

ANTH 1120 Chapter 2: Anthropology 1120 - Fieldwork Notes - Textbook/Class Slides/Online Sources

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ANTH 1120

Anthropology 1120 Fieldwork Notes Notes from TextbookClass SlidesOnline Anthropology Encyclopedias Fieldwork: An extended period of close involvement with the people in whose way of life anthropologists are interested, during which anthropologists ordinarily collect most of their data. Broadens understandings of cultural worlds and transforms the selfunderstandings of anthropologists and the people with whom they work. It is the coming together of two different cultural worlds. It is intersubjective, involves interactionstranslationsinterpretations, and results in the production of knowledge. Structured Interviews: A method for gathering information whereby an anthropologist (or another researcher) asks a set of predetermined questions and records participants responses. Archival of material. Publishing literature. Can draw out a great amount of information on topics of particular interest to the anthropologist. History of Fieldwork: Up until the 1950s1960s many anthropologists desired the eld to be a science; utilizing the scientic method. The big three anthropologists: Boaz, Mead and Malinowski. Franz Boas: Boas was considered the founder of anthropology. He was interested in humans and their environment. Posed questions such as: Why do people live in such extreme environments? Boas was in the middle ground between armchair anthropology and eldwork. He is known for studying native populations in British Columbia, Canada. Inuenced by Darwin, he developed the theory of cultural relativism. He emphasized the importance of the scientic method and impartial data. He was the rst person to develop an ethnography. Bronislaw Malinowski: Was the founder of participant observation (which happened by chance due to being stuck in the islands of the pacic during WW2). He was not a cultural relativist. His principal eld work was carried out off the coast of New Guinea. Malinowskis primary interest was in the study of culture as a universal phenomenon and in the development of a methodological framework that would permit the systematic study of specic cultures in all their particularities and open the way to systematic crosscultural comparison. He was the originator of a functionalist approach to the study of culture. Malinowski treated each culture as a closed system and all cultures as essentially comparable. He made little use of the comparative method, he treated the empirical study of a specic culture as a contribution to the understanding of the universal phenomenon of culture. In Argonauts of the Western Pacic he stated that the ethnographers nal goal must be to grasp the natives point of view, his relation to life, to realize his vision of his world.
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