Ethnographic Fieldwork : Cultural Anthropology Essay

Ethnographic Fieldwork : Cultural Anthropology Essay

Length: 1755 words (5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

1). Ethnographic fieldwork is very important to the practice of cultural anthropology. In a 2 to 3 page essay discuss the strengths and weaknesses of this research method. In doing so, please do the following:
a) Define ethnographic fieldwork and explain why it is important to cultural anthropology.
Ethnographic fieldwork is characteristic of cultural anthropology (Sprandley, 6) . Ethnography entails theory of cultures. Ethnographic fieldwork is important to cultural anthropology to undercover the unknown principles of another way of life so they can enlightened the people through it to understand different way of life and the situation another way of life are living. Anthropologist study from those who distinguish the culture best such as its members and they seek the insider’s point of view. They try to clarify this point of view to people so we won 't see people who lives life differently in narrow minded or think in bad way or inferior way.
b) Referring to at least two of the readings, discuss the strengths and weaknesses of this method. What are some issue it raises? What does it allow us to see that other methods might not? What are some perils and pitfalls that it poses to the researcher?
The potency in these method of fieldwork is, we are able to see insider 's point of view. Anthropologists have to ask very basic questions, and cannot assume they understand things which consider to be weakness. Sometimes while asking questions author might have to take an attitude of ignorance, to set aside naive relativism. This weakness can be explain through Gmelch article. This article lead us to understand that it is hard, but compulsory to try to put aside our own precise understandings. It also explains us that fieldwork freque...


... middle of paper ...


...in just our own point of view, we would reject culture practice of other cultures just based on our culture. We would assume that our culture is superior and mirror. When I read about Tibetans, it does astonished me for a minute. However, it was difficult for me to believe that two or more brother have one wife. It 's completely restricted in my cultures so it 's difficult for me to accept the fact. This makes me curious and to find out more about Tibatans, their cultures and their cultural practices. I had tried to gather as many information about Tibetans ' culture online, it does actually changes the way, I think about Tibetans. Now I can understand and accept their cultural practices which I was rejecting it at first place. I think cultural relativism is very important for every person to view, understand facts about other cultures and their cultural practices.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Ethnographic Fieldwork : Cultural Anthropology Essay

- Ethnographic fieldwork helps to define and distinguish cultural anthropology in certain ways. The definition per ethnographic studies helps to distinguish cultural anthropology from other disciplines and helps to understand it and how it is carried out. Field work ethnography defines cultural anthropology as holism, cross culture comparison and observation by participation. Ethnographic fieldwork has a lot of advantages. Ethnographic fieldwork defines cultural anthropology to be holism. It stresses that cultural anthropology embraces a holistic perspective for the study of human behaviour....   [tags: Sociology, Anthropology, Culture]

Better Essays
797 words (2.3 pages)

Cultural Anthropology and Ethnographic Fieldwork Essay

- Cultural Anthropology and Ethnographic Fieldwork James P. Spradley (1979) described the insider approach to understanding culture as "a quiet revolution" among the social sciences (p. iii). Cultural anthropologists, however, have long emphasized the importance of the ethnographic method, an approach to understanding a different culture through participation, observation, the use of key informants, and interviews. Cultural anthropologists have employed the ethnographic method in an attempt to surmount several formidable cultural questions: How can one understand another's culture....   [tags: Cultural Anthropology Papers]

Better Essays
1792 words (5.1 pages)

Tim Asch 's Cultural Anthropology Essay

- Tim Asch is a well-known photographer, filmmaker, ethnographer, and a visual anthropologist. The main purpose of Tim Asch’s anthropological work was to “teach cultural anthropology to university undergraduates and to make the filmic materials accessible so that other scholars and teachers could make use of them in ways not imagined by him” (Ruby 1975, 115). With that being said, Asch was determined to do fieldwork (the process of living with people being studied, asking them questions, and surveying their environments and material possessions), and share his ideas, in order to develop the minds of future anthropologists and scholars....   [tags: Anthropology, Cultural anthropology, Culture]

Better Essays
1106 words (3.2 pages)

Fieldwork in Various Anthropological Schools of Thought Essay

- Cultural anthropology is a social science that studies the origins and development of human societies (History World International, 2001). Many theories to explain cultural variations among humans have emerged. As a result, numerous anthropological schools of thought have been established based on these theories since the nineteenth century. These schools of thought encompass the dominant beliefs about culture during a time period and are constantly changing as new knowledge is acquired. As schools of thought develop, ethnographic methods have changed and developed as well....   [tags: Anthropology ]

Better Essays
1169 words (3.3 pages)

Anthropology and Gender Essay

- Though women have played an integral part in the history of the discipline of anthropology, it was not until the early 1970’s that the field of anthropology and gender, or feminist anthropology emerged. Sex and gender roles have always been a vital part of any ethnographic study, but the contributors of this theory began to address the androcentric nature of anthropology itself. The substantial gap in information concerning the study of women was perceived as a male bias, a prejudice made more apparent because what little women-centered fieldwork was done received insufficient attention from the academic community....   [tags: Feminist Anthropology ]

Better Essays
1582 words (4.5 pages)

Ethnographic Writing and Relationships with Research Subjects Essay

- Anthropologists conduct research in order to answer specific questions about a particular group of people and their culture. Most anthropologists use fieldwork to collect their data, which is then interpreted within their ethnographic writing. When collecting their data, anthropologists use many different approaches such as developing relationships with their informants, but do not illustrate these relationships in their actual writing. Anthropologists Claire E. Sterk and Philippe Bourgois are two of the anthropologists that emphasize their relationships and the importance of gaining trust of their informants in their perspective articles studied....   [tags: Anthropology]

Better Essays
1397 words (4 pages)

Essay on What Makes The Discipline Of Anthropology Qualitative?

- STUDY UNIT 1 Question 1: What makes the discipline of anthropology qualitative in nature. Anthropology delves into the complexities of human societies, with a holistic approach to their culture and development. In doing so, the anthropological researcher ethically focuses on all human aspects and favours an approach that is centred on collecting and analysing data which is mostly non-numerical and rich in accumulative detail. Unlike in other scientific disciplines which favour quantitative research methods, anthropological researchers prefer using participant-observation techniques, as well as an emic approach in order to gain insight into the lives of the people being studied....   [tags: Anthropology, Sociology, Culture]

Better Essays
1504 words (4.3 pages)

Cultural Critique, George Marcus And Michael M.j Essay

- According to Stephan Feuchtwang, early British social anthropology sought “knowledge of total systems or structures from small-scale social units by direct personal observation with as little participation as possible” (1973:72). By applying minimal and often misconstrued knowledge imbued with personal biases to complex social systems, early anthropologists left much of their proposed evidence up to assumption. Using comparative methods, many early anthropologists focused on unilineal evolution and classified societies as progressing through stages from primitive to civilized....   [tags: Anthropology, Cultural anthropology, Ethnography]

Better Essays
1357 words (3.9 pages)

Reflexivity in Ethnographic Research and Writing Essay

- Reflexivity in Ethnographic Research and Writing The role of reflexivity in ethnographic research and writing has certain advantages and limits, as it gives the discipline of anthropology another form of interpreting ethnographies. Reflexivity, in terms of work of anthropology, is to insist that anthropologists systematically and rigorously reveal their methodology and themselves as the instrument of data generation. It is the self-consciousness or the work's ability to see itself as a work. There are various styles of reflexivity in ethnographic writing and Dorinne Kondo, Renato Rosaldo, and George Marcus are three anthropologists that influenced the role of reflexivity through their ethn...   [tags: Ethnography Anthropology Essays]

Free Essays
1614 words (4.6 pages)

Anthropology Essay

- Anthropology Anthropology what a vulnerable observer you are. You may well have to jump into the arms of the scientists if you are going to try to keep your grass hut at the academy. -- Ruth Behar Debates on the role the reflexive plague the field of cultural anthropology as postmodern critics join the bandwagon attempting to claim authority in this dubiously recognized discipline. In the borderline realm between the sciences and humanities, cultural anthropology has tried to find a niche in which it can comfortably rest....   [tags: Anthropologist Culture Essays]

Better Essays
1331 words (3.8 pages)