Anth1 Method & Theory


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Anth1 Method & Theory

  1. 1. Method & Theory in Cultural Anthropology Intro to Cultural Anthropology Prof. J. Fortier
  2. 2. Ethnography <ul><li>Writing after having done fieldwork </li></ul><ul><li>Distinctive to cultural anthropology </li></ul><ul><li>Part of early Anthro traditions </li></ul>Lizette Mu ñoz & Prof. Fortier talking with Quechua farmer
  3. 3. Ethnographic Techniques: Participant Observation <ul><li>Participate in activities </li></ul><ul><li>Observe behaviors </li></ul>Learning about Wild Yams from Banraji community in India
  4. 4. Conversation & Interviewing <ul><li>Structured questionnaire </li></ul><ul><li>Non-random samples </li></ul><ul><li>Check validity </li></ul><ul><li>Quantitative & qualitative questions </li></ul>Sam Brown, Kumeyaay Elder During interview about Cuyamaca Area memories & places
  5. 5. Kinship or Genealogical Interviews <ul><li>Kinship charting </li></ul><ul><li>Basic to most ethnographic studies </li></ul><ul><li>Kin links reflect social & political structures of many societies </li></ul>
  6. 6. Key Cultural Consultants <ul><li>Often elders </li></ul><ul><li>Wise, knowledgeable </li></ul><ul><li>Loquacious </li></ul><ul><li>Key informants </li></ul><ul><li>experienced </li></ul>Raute elder from Nepal, a key cultural consultant
  7. 7. Life Histories <ul><li>Good way to get longer view of cultural changes </li></ul><ul><li>Record distinctive people’s biographies </li></ul><ul><li>Personal standpoints are recorded </li></ul>Life histories of two elders, focusing on how their senses have contributed to being Yolmo
  8. 8. Local knowledge & beliefs <ul><li>Ethnographies record emic views </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Local, insider’s, native, experiential </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Other studies can record etic views </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Scientific, comparative, non-experiential </li></ul></ul>Shamanic knowledge involves altered states of consciousness
  9. 9. Problem-oriented ethnography <ul><li>What is the research question? </li></ul><ul><li>What problem or issue is to be studied? </li></ul><ul><li>Are there rapid assessment techniques? </li></ul><ul><li>Consulting archives? </li></ul><ul><li>Whose problems are solved? </li></ul><ul><li>Ethnical issues? </li></ul>Video ethnography enhances design studio client’s needs
  10. 10. Longitudinal Research <ul><li>Long-term study of a community </li></ul><ul><li>Based on repeated visits over many years </li></ul><ul><li>Repeated collection of censuses, quantitative data </li></ul><ul><li>Allows for different research questions </li></ul>Chronicles the importance of knowledge in the ability of people to reproduce themselves and their practices over time
  11. 11. Team Research in Ethnography <ul><li>Animal Husbandry & butchery of animals </li></ul><ul><li>Marriage, sex, and gender in Mayan families </li></ul><ul><li>Life History of a Pisté woman </li></ul><ul><li>Religion and local protestant churches </li></ul><ul><li>TESL classroom experiences </li></ul><ul><li>Student success in Mayan families </li></ul><ul><li>Production of local Maya art </li></ul><ul><li>History of families working at the archaeological zone of Chichén Itza </li></ul><ul><li>Ideas about Race among Youth </li></ul> (The Open School of Ethnography & Anthropology)
  12. 12. Contemporary Ethnographies <ul><li>Attention to scales of culture and place </li></ul><ul><li>Older ethnographies focus on distinct ethnic groups, villages, or cultures </li></ul><ul><li>Contemporary ethnog’s select distinct aspects of these </li></ul>Tourism & folk dance in M érida, Yucatan, Mexico;
  13. 13. Ethnography & Survey Research <ul><li>Studies sample pop’n </li></ul><ul><li>Little personal contact </li></ul><ul><li>Uses small # of variables </li></ul><ul><li>Used in writing-based, literate societies </li></ul><ul><li>Codes answers for statistical analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Holistic: Studies whole communities </li></ul><ul><li>First-hand, direct research experience </li></ul><ul><li>Often carried out in small-scale societies </li></ul><ul><li>Emph. On description, qualitative research </li></ul>
  14. 14. Ethnography: Mix of Methods <ul><li>Quantitative & qualitative </li></ul><ul><li>Long-term w/ short-term follow-ups </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborative research </li></ul><ul><li>“ Bifocal” - viewing local and global effects on people </li></ul>The Karki family, key cultural consultants In Nepal