What is culture and how do anthropologists investigate it? (vsi: ch1&2; geertz balinese cockfight: ethnography and fieldwork. Participiant observation based simple on the 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 period of time. Fieldwork gives anthropology its great deal of romance. social interaction is conducted entirely face-to-face: this provided anthropologists with a simplified view of the elementary workings of society, one that is contrasted with the modern western society. salvage ethnography: the ways of life represented by the smaller societies are rapidly disappearing, and since many of them had no writing, it was an urgent task to preserve a record for posterity.