Science and Social Life: 3 Dimensions• Differences in views about which of the natural sciences is to be taken as paradigmatic for scientific method.• There can be various interpretations even of any method held to be characteristic of particular sciences at particular times.• There can be disagreements about what aspects of natural scientific method should and should not be applied to social research.
ETHNOGRAPHY vsSCIENCE 1 Relies on artificial settings (in the case of experiments) 2 Relies on what people ‘say’ than ‘do’ (in survey) 3 Reducing ‘observable’ meanings. 4 A ‘static’ social phenomena.
Natural science is…• Cultural disillusionment• A highly destructive weaponry• An oppressive force that dominates the modern world• Sometimes associated with ‘male’ aggression and ‘patriarchy’ LINK WITH THESCIENCE MODEL HUMANITIES
QUESTIONING THE OBJECTIVITY OF SOCIAL RESEARCH: ETHNOGRAPHY 1 2 • Findings of social • Is it possible to become research (including a ‘social scientific ethnography) were knowledge’? too ‘masculin’. • The findings reflect • Limited by a male only presuppositions point of view. and sociohistorical • A bourgeois social circumstances. science, advocates of • The ability of these black sociology. research to produce knowledge that is ‘universally valid’.
The criticism against ethnography• OBJECTIVITY: – The observers presence may in itself contribute to results that are inaccurate; Since the observed behavior is not usual behavior, hence the derived results are false because it does not depict normal behavior. – Reflect only the masculinity assumptions of researchers. – The possibility of ethno to become knowledge which is impossible due to the production of the ethno works only constructions, based on presuppositions ; cannot be universal knowledge. – The ‘literary’ models and motifs of the ehnographers are similar to each other. This whole criticism were lately turn to ‘skepticism’ or ‘relativism’
Another debate about ethnography• The relationship of it to social and political practice: – Most ethnography has been directed toward contributing to disciplinary knowledge rather than solving practical problems. – An applied anthropology movements in USA indicating a stand where the ethnographers direct their orientation to solving practical problems. – In Britain, ironnically, this ‘applied ethnography’ trends has been more obvious to commercial market research than in gov-funded work. – These trends causing some modifications of ethnographic practict – These trends also arisen out from the concern about the lack of impact that ethnographic has on social & political practice, which in turn, demanding more that practitioners themselves must included in the research to make it more practically relevant, this led to ‘collaborative research’.
The end of the debate…contd.• The main goal of ethnography is ‘the production of knowledge’, of which should not be replaced with the pursuit of practical goals, because: – The practical goals are no more worthy than the pursuit of knowledge in terms of time and effort. – The goals themselves sometimes not practically achieveable.• Conclusion on this that we have to stay focus on the production of knowledge and not misprioritize it with the goal of practical solution to the social and political world.
Rethoric and Representation• Recently, there are more attention to the aesthetics and ethics of ethnographic texts: authority and authorship, connection among rhetoric, representation, and logic generally.• This rhetoric follows the theoretical and methodological tendencies like feminism, poststructuralism, and postmodernism, especially from cultural and social anthropologist, recently by sociologists.• Regardless those various tendencies, the ‘broad theme’ of rhetoric among all disciplines are: conventionality of ethno texts, representation of ‘Self’ and ‘Other’ in such texts, the character of ethno as textual genre, the nature of ethno argumentation, and the rhetoric of evidence.
Rethoric and Representation• …..• Among social and cultural anthropologists, the standard ethno or monograph was sometimes a taken-for-granted format.• In 1973, Geertz, claiming that those anthropological writings could be regarded as ‘ fiction’, because; crafted by their authors, shaped by ‘literary’ conventions These two experts and devices. sought to• In 1986, Clifford and Marcus’ works on illuminate the Writing Culture, is a sign of critical awareness on ethno textuality, ‘literary’ emphasizing the textual imposition that antecedents that anthropology exerts over its subject are similar among matter, also the interplay of the ‘literary’. anthropologists
The ‘literary’ critics of Atkinson• Atkinson (1982) track the origin of these ‘literary’ and ‘parallels’ of the social ethno associated with Chicago school, USA He criticize the literary also.• In 1990, Atkinson identifies the recurrent/repeated textual methods and motifs that ethno construct their texts, using a various major devices and tropes (kiasan/figure of speech): – Narrative forms used to convey accounts of social action and causation. – Uses of various figures of speech such as metaphor, irony, and synecdoche.
Rethoric and Representation• Some aspects of ‘literary’ antecedents criticized were: – For anthropology, an attention to literary as well as biographical affinities between the work of Malinowski and Conrad (by Clifford, 1988), between surrealism and French ethno (Cllfford, 1988), and in the poetic writing of Benedict and Sapir (Brady, 1991) – Atkinson (1982) revealed an identification of Chicago school urban ethno with the naturalistic and realistic novels of American literature. – In Britain, the sociologists like Booth and Rowntree have major affinities/closeness with several literary models. – Even famous author/writer of fictional products such as Dickens, provide real mixtures of realism, melodrama, and grotesque that similar to the sociological tradition.
Fight against the literary criticism of ethno• In 1990, a group of British anthro revealed the different textual styles according to different regional biases and preoccupations, criticizing back the ‘literary critics’ for treating anthro ethno as a undifferentiated textual type.• In 1988, Van Maanen explores various modes of ethno writing, contrasting the style of ‘realist’ (typically being central, more impersonal) and ‘confessional’ (typically being marginal, more personal) among sociologists and anthros.
Implications of rhetorical turns:• Has ethical and political implications• A paradox between the ethnographers and the ethnography as textual product: – On one hand is the ethno’s epistemological, personal, and moral commitment to his/her hosts, an assimilation between the observer and observed in ‘social and culture’, a ‘shared social world’. – On the other hand, the classic text of ethno itself claimed a radical distinction between the Author and the Other. For example, in the methods of ‘realist’, the Author has privilege voice to the text written, but the voice of the Other is muted. Regarding this, a movement occurs to produce more ‘dialogic’ forms of ethno writing replacing the ‘monologic’ ones (a work example of Dwyer, 1982).
The role of ‘participant observation’:• The rhetorical turn has intimately related to a ‘postmodern’ tendency in the construction of ethnography; explores the discontinuities, paradoxes, and inconsistencies of culture and action.• Thus, the postmodern author seeks to eliminate the distance between the observer and the observed. The use of ‘participant observation’ thus is to produce a ‘dialogue’ that shows the ‘cooperative and collaborative’ nature of the ethno situation (Tyler, 1986).