Essay on Ethnography Reflection

Essay on Ethnography Reflection

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1. Raybeck used most of the techniques on page 71 in Thinking Like an Anthropologist. He established key informants including Yusof and Mat, administered oral surveys to prostitutes, collected kin relations, and mapped the community. He also participated in the night guard (jaga) to learn the layout of the community, get to know his fellow villagers, and perform his civic duty. (26, 54-55, 62, 112)
2. Raybeck incorporated life histories and case studies as well as the semantic differential, a psycholinguistic instrument to quantitative analyze the connotations of concepts. Douglas was accompanied by his girlfriend Karen. She could occasionally gain entry into situations where he could not. For example, she was invited to help prepare feasts and eat with the women in the kitchen. Through this network, Karen found the women were willing to talk more openly about their feelings and occasionally heard village gossip before Douglas. Karen also did most of the shopping at the market and learned to bargain from a chicken vendor. (44-47, 94, 99-100, 166, 180, 186-187)
3. Raybeck suggests that a middle ground between qualitative and quantitative data collection is the most effective approach. Raybeck's study of the semantic differential was intended to be scientific. Quantitative approaches, although precise and full of data, omit information and reduce complex situations to just numbers. Raybeck found that interpretive approaches, although imprecise and difficult to replicate, are broad and rely on context to relay deeper meaning. The way Raybeck reports his findings of the community is humanistic. This allows the reader to get a feel for the empathy and context of the situations Raybeck experienced. (90-100, 195-197)
4. Ra...

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20. Raybeck did a good job of minimizing ethnocentrism. As he spent more time in Malaysia, he became more of an accepted insider and his ethnocentrism declined. Raybeck felt like more of an insider to the degree that he could report on the happenings of the Chinese that lived in the village as if he were a Kelantanese. Karen displayed ethnocentrism when, in accordance with local and religious custom, she agreed to wear a head covering on religious holidays, but refused to walk behind Douglas. The villagers displayed ethnocentrism by questioning the couple on their lack of children as the custom in Malaysia was to have many children. (49, 51, 186, 201)

Source: Raybeck, Douglas. 1996. Mad Dogs, Englishmen, and the Errant Anthropologist. Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press, Inc.
Source: Omohundro, John. Thinking Like an Anthropologist. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

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