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Chapter 1

VSI readings chapter 1,2,4,7

Course Code
Maggie Cummings

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VSI: Chapter 1: A Dispute in Donggo: Fieldwork and Ethnography
Anthropologists research is called, ethnography: researching of people,
societies and communities. Can be loosely called participant
Other methods such as questionnaires can often be misleading esp.
those communities we know nothing about.
Fieldwork can be as un-exotic as a church in a small town
Try to concentrate on primitive societies. Worked alone during
fieldwork studies and eventually was able to adapt to the hosts’ way of
Recall story in Doro Nikita, about Ina Monoe being assaulted.
Do a sociologist, historian, or criminologist the said case would be
invisible and misleading
Peter learned that disputers are often not what they seem. He did not
seek to find this information, its only because he was there.
Ethnography is used to make cross-cultural comparisons.
Ethnographers need to study before the go do fieldwork and are called
ethnographers in a field. E.g. Ethnographer in law.
You need to get funding for any fieldwork (sometimes get papers
signed, government officials to give you a green light)
One of the hardest parts is to enter and leave the community.
Flaws in ethnography: ethnographic present, spoil their traditions
and write in a third person voice.
The “objectivity of info is hard to validate because you cant calibrate a
Fail to mention certain details because of issues.
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Participation in awkward situations is unknown.
Property rights of cultural knowledge
Anthropology is an academic discipline and humanistic enterprise.
VSI: Chapter 2: Bee larvae and Onion Soup: Culture
One of your extraordinary features is to conceptualize the world and
communicate those conceptions symbolically. This is called: Culture.
Culture deals with aspects of cognition and activity that are learned
from society. Isnt explicitly taught.
Recall Edward Tylors definition of culture in 1871 Victorian era. But
Victorians thought “culture is what a person can posses (more or less
Franz boas father of modern American cultural anthropology.
Described culture as kulturbrille a set of glasses that lets us perceive
the world.
Recall example of john and the honeycomb and onion soup. The Mixtec
viewed onions and we would view eating a honeycomb.
Among the differences there are similarities on that we both assign
categorical meanings to domains.
Emile Durkheim and nephew argued that classification was apart of
our social nature. First class of things was men, into which these
things were integrated.
Claude Levi Strauss founder of structuralism anthropology said that
classification is universal. Everything is introduced in some kind of
Ethno science: formal analysis of various domains
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