Reflexive anthropology has pressured scholoars to recognize their own biases and look increasingly inwards when studying “other” cultures. Reflexive anthropology is a break away from the traditional study of a clearly defined “us” and “them,” that seeks to shift towards indentification rather than difference. It attempts to uncover the politics behind ethnography. Reflexivity shows how “we” are effected by “others”, and how “others” are effected by “us.” It holds anthropologists accountable for what they write, and how they represent culture. Anthropologists like Dorinne Kondo and Renato Rosaldo have greatly influenced the devlopment of reflexive anthropology through their enthnographies.
When Kondo, a Japanese-American woman, went to Japan to for research, she was unprepared for how her own identity would complicate her study. Because she looked Japanese, and in some ways “felt Japanese,” but did not have the cultural knowledge and language skills of a true “native,” she was pressured by others to conform. They wanted her to be a “Japanese women,” and she (initially) readily complied. In doing so, the lines between “informant” and “ethnographer” became blurred, as she examined her own transition, and her own “dissolution and reconstitution of self.” It become increasingly impossible for Kondo to write an ethnography from a distanced, us/ them, point of view, as she was (outwardly) becoming more like “them.” Kondo states:
I emphasize here the collusion between all parties involved, for it is important to recognize the ways in which informants are also actors and agents and that the negotiation of reality that takes place in the doing of ehtnography involves complex and ...
... middle of paper ...
...after the death of his wife that Rosaldo felt the anger and grief that he believed was related to the Ilongots’ feelings. Through his own sad experience, Rosaldo thought that could understand the Ilongot’s deeper reason for headhunting.
Rosaldo’s belief that people might truly be able to understand each other on all levels is quite problomatic. He even states that “the notion of position also refers to how life experiences both enable and inhibit particular kinds of insight” (19). Whereas he applies this comment to his own ablity to understand headhuntung because of his feelings about his wife’s death, he dismissed other cultural factors that differentiate the Ilongot people from himself. Although he is able to feel some sort of connection to his informants through his own pain, he is in no position to be able to state that he understands the culture’s ritual.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Urbanization is the process of life for many and the desired way of life for many others. Human beings both inhabit urban and rural areas today all over the world. Many people may be disappointed with the development of an increasing number of urban areas. Many peoples once rural areas are now swallowed up directly as cities sprawl outward. The effects of urbanization both positive and negative get examined in the following paragraphs. In addition, who is most effected by urbanization and who plays a role in preventing and/or properly planning development will also be revealed.... [tags: Anthropology ]
1818 words (5.2 pages)
- 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 ]
1582 words (4.5 pages)
- The Role of the Reflexive Ethnographer Works Cited Missing The role of the reflexive ethnographer has been constantly defined and redefined since the beginning of the study of anthropology. The use of reflexivity has and will always be questioned in anthropology. Malinowski, who was a pioneer in the field of anthropology, discouraged the use of reflexivity; he, instead, believed that anthropology was scientific and could produce “concrete evidence” (Malinowski 17). Reflexivity is way in which anthropologists try to get rid of this scientific and rigid anthropology; it is a move towards an emotional and self-reflective anthropology.... [tags: Anthropology Culture Reflexivity Essays]
1238 words (3.5 pages)
- Development of Anthropology as a Discipline in the United States I. Early History of Anthropology in the United States 1870-1900 “The roots of anthropology lie in the eye-witness accounts of travelers who have journeyed to lands on the margins of state-based societies and described their cultures and in the efforts of individuals who have analyzed the information collected. In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, a number of anthropologists recognized that the practice of anthropology was intimately linked to commerce and colonial expansion.” (Patterson 1) There were essentially three “schools” of anthropological thinking by the First World War and after.... [tags: Anthropology History Essays]
1567 words (4.5 pages)
- There is a lot of conflict to the question “is anthropology a science?” A lot of this conflict leads from defining what a science is, in the dictionary science is, “a branch of knowledge or study dealing with a body of facts or truths systematically arranged and showing the operation of general laws.” (Dictionary.com, 2011) Anything that can be studied is considered a science. Without science anthropology would be nearly impossible to study, science makes everything quantifiable.... [tags: Anthropology ]
959 words (2.7 pages)
- Anthropology Today In society today, the discipline of anthropology has made a tremendous shift from the practices it employed years ago. Anthropologists of today have a very different focus from their predecessors, who would focus on relating problems of distant peoples to the Western world. In more modern times, their goal has become much more local, in focusing on human problems and issues within the societies they live. This paper will identify the roles anthropologists today play, such as where they perform the bulk of their work, and what it is they do in both problem solving, as well as policy making.... [tags: Anthropology]
1735 words (5 pages)
- Introduction: Cultural Anthropology is a term that is in everyday lives and topics. When one thinks of anthropology they think of the study of old remnants commonly referred to as archaeology. This, however, is not the only form of anthropology. There are four types of anthropology and they are archaeology, biological anthropology, cultural anthropology, and linguistic anthropology. However, Cultural anthropologists are every where and study people of all walks of life. One can find a topic and find some type of study that an anthropologist has conducted on the matter.... [tags: Anthropology Culture Essays]
3071 words (8.8 pages)
- Anthropology - Lucy in Hadar In a search to find our ancestors, several anthropologists have found evidence to support their conclusions. In the films about Don Johanson's discovery of Lucy in Hadar, one may be very intrigued by the first film but very disturbed by the second film. I was very intrigued by the findings of the Australopithecines. The idea that Lucy, the skeleton found in Hadar, Africa, was closely related to the human species was amazing. Lucy was bipedal and her brain was smaller than that of modern humans.... [tags: Anthropology]
557 words (1.6 pages)
- Anthropology Works Cited Missing Anthropology is a discipline studying flux and change in human communities and definitions of identity, mirroring the dynamic play of modernist reconceptualizations of meaning. As an academic discipline, anthropology demands a realization of the interconnectedness between human groups, a heightened abstraction of vocabulary and tools with which to articulate these connections, and self reflexive sensitivity to its history. In this same vein, modernism, as a movement of avant-garde ideas and art forms, draws community to study of itself, demands its own vocabulary of critique, and harkens back to the history of events that prompted the movement.... [tags: Anthropological Culture Essays]
367 words (1 pages)
- 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]
1331 words (3.8 pages)