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ANTA02H3 (146)
Chapter

Culture

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Department
Anthropology
Course
ANTA02H3
Professor
Maggie Cummings
Semester
Winter

Description
What Is Culture and How Do Anthropologists Investigate It? (VSI: CH1&2; Geertz Balinese Cockfight) Ethnography and Fieldwork - What anthropologists do is ETHNOGRAPHY (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 Participant observation seems to be the most effective way of understanding in depth the ways in which other people seethe world and interact with it, and often provides a check on our own preconceptions and beliefs - W.H.R. Rivers, Bronislaw Malinowski, Franz Boas and others founders of modern professional anthropology of the first-hand collection of ethnographic data - An ethnographer goesto the field with the intention of studying some particular aspect of social life Most anthropologists begin their preparation with several years of study in the history or previous ethnographic literature of the region in which they propose to do fieldwork An ethnographer may need to acquire another language An ethnographers first task is to become established in the community Dialogues is the backbone of ethnography: the interviews the most important technique to collect data The key to ethnographic successis being there, available to observe, available to follow up, available to take advantage of the chance event Leaving the field can be difficult (i.e. bond with the community); no ethnog
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