A. TheAAACode of Ethics states that anthropologists have ethical obligations to their
scholarly field, to the wider society and culture, to the human species, other species, and
B. To work in a host country and community, researchers must obtain the informed
consent from all affected parties.
1. Before the research begins, people should be told about the purpose, nature,
and procedures of the research.
2. Also, people should be told of the potential costs and benefits of the research
before the project begins.
C. Academic reciprocity
1. TheAAACode states that researchers should reciprocate in appropriate ways.
a. Include host country colleagues in your research plans and funding
b. Establish collaborative relationships with those colleagues and their
c. Include host country colleagues in the publication of the research
2. It should not be forgotten that the researcher’s primary ethical obligation is to
the people being studied.
II. Proposing Research
A.Anthropologists need funding to support their research in the field.
1. There are a series of agencies that support anthropological research.
a. National Science Foundation (NSF)
b. Social Science Research Council (SSRC)
c. Wenner-Gren Foundation forAnthropological Research
2. In order to receive funding from any of these institutions, anthropologists must
write grant proposals that summarize what questions are going to be addressed,
where the research will be conducted, and how it will be done.
B. Good grant proposals must address several key questions.
1. What is the topic to be investigated?
2. Why is this research important?
3. Where and when will it happen?
4. What’s going to be tested and how?
5. Is the person proposing the research qualified to do it?
III. Ethnography Is the Firsthand Personal Study of a Local Cultural Setting
A. Ethnographers try to understand the whole of a particular culture, not just fragments
(e.g., the economy).
B. In pursuit of this holistic goal, ethnographers usually spend an extended period of time
living with the group they are studying and employ a series of techniques to gather
IV. Ethnographic Techniques A. Observation and Participant Observation
1. Ethnographers are trained to be aware of and record details from daily events,
the significance of which may not be apparent until much later.
2. "Participant observation," as practiced by ethnographers, involves the
researcher taking part in the activities being observed.
3. Unlike laboratory research, ethnographers do not isolate variables or attempt to
manipulate the outcome of events they are observing.
B. Conservation, Interviewing, and Interview Schedules
1. Ethnographic interviews range in formality from undirected conversation, to
open-ended interviews focusing on specific topics, to formal interviews using a
predetermined schedule of questions.
2. Increasingly, more than one of these methods are used to accomplish
complementary ends on a single ethnographic research project.
C. The Genealogical Method
1. Early anthropologists identified types of relatedness, such as kinship, descent,
and marriage, as being the fundamental organizing principles of nonindustrial
2. The genealogical method of diagramming such kin relations was developed as a
formalized means of comparing kin-based societies.
D. Key cultural consultants are particularly well-informed members of the culture being
studied that can provide the ethnographer with some of the most useful or complete
E. Life histories are intimate and personal collections of a lifetime of experiences from
certain members of the community being studied
1. Life histories reveal how specific people perceive, react to, and contribute to
changes that affect their lives.
2. Since life histories are focused on how different people interpret and deal with
similar issues, they can be used to illustrate the diversity within a given
F. Local Beliefs and Perceptions and the Ethnographer’s
1. An emic (native-oriented) approach investigates how natives think, categorize
the world, express thoughts, and interpret stimuli.
a. Emic = "native viewpoint"
b. Key cultural consultants are essential for understanding the emic
2. An etic (science-oriented) approach emphasizes the categories, interpretations,
and features that the anthropologist considers important.
G. The Evolution of Ethnography
1. Bronislaw Malinowski is generally considered the father of ethnography.
a. He did salvage ethnography, recording cultural diversity that was