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Chapter 3

chapter 3 (lecture 3)

Course Code
Victor Barac

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Chapter 3: Ethics and Methods - (lecture 3)
Evolution of Ethnography
Bronislaw Malinowski = polish anthropologist who is considered to be the
founder of ethnography
= believed that the ethnographer’s job is to study and record cultural
diversity threatened by Westernization
= ethnographer’s primary task: to grasp the native’s point of view,
his relation to life, to realize his vision of his world
= Malinowski’s Argonauts of the Western Pacific Trobrian
Islanders’ links between that entry point and other areas of the culture (kinship,
religion, etc)
Ethnographic Realism = writer’s goal was to present an accurate, objective,
scientific account of a different way of life, written by someone who knew it
firsthand knowledge came from an ethnographic adventure
Interpretative Anthropology = describing and inter[reting that which is
meaningful to natives
Clifford Geertz = interpretivist that view culture as meaningful texts that natives
constantly read and ethnographers must decipher meanings in culture are
carried by public symbolic forms, including words, rituals, and customs
Trend in ethnographic writing to question traditional goals, methods and styles
& rediscovering people and cultures to change historical circumstances
Ethnographers as mediator and communicates information from the natives to
Reflexive ethnography = ethnographers put their personal feelings and reactions
to the field situation right in the text
Ethnographic present = period before westernization that is linked to salvage
ethnography when the true native culture flourished unrealistic construct
because cultures have been changing throughout history
Ethnography: Anthropology’s Distinctive Strategy
Ethnography = is a research process in which the anthropologist closely observes,
records and engages in the daily life of another culture (or field work method) and
then writes accounts of this culture, emphasizing descriptive detail
= research strategy in societies with greater cultural uniformity and
less social differentiation than are found in large, modern, industrial nations.
= they move from setting to setting, place to place, subject to subject
to discover the totality and interconnectedness of social life
= provides a foundation for generalizations about human behavior
and social life.
Ethnographic Techniques
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