Essay about What Is Meaning Behind A Culture?

Essay about What Is Meaning Behind A Culture?

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What is the meaning behind a culture? How do we gain access to it? How do we obtain and find it? What do you specifically have to do? These are the questions that you should ask when wanting to know more about a culture. You cannot just observe a culture and expect to know everything there is to know about them. One must become involved with one another, do the things that these people do. According to E.E. Evans-Pritchard, fieldwork is not just visiting and observing another people. It involves living, speaking, and generally learning about their culture. “Every day is equally important as ceremonial celebrations.”(Strange Beliefs) One must be a part of their culture to gain a full understanding behind everything. In order to reach a full understanding and meaning you must immerge yourself and become one of them. You must mesh with them. This paper will outline that in order to fully obtain true meaning from a culture you have to immerse yourself within the culture and ways to do so. In order to do that this paper will also discuss the ways to find meaning using different anthropological observations, perspectives, and theories such as participant observation, holistic, comparative, and relativistic perspective.
One of the most challenging aspects is to properly do participant observation, which is to live in a culture that is not your own while keeping a record of your experiences and interviews with the people of that culture. Participant observation just is not observing as one may think, it requires more interaction than just interviews. One must engage with the people and actually be a part of their society. “Only way inside Zande life was to live among them.” (Strange Beliefs) But it is also more than just living among th...


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...t a coincidence or bad luck. To the Azande, they do understand that termites are eating the legs and that the hut fell due to it but they also believe that someone has bewitched the person(s) sitting underneath the hut thus causing them to specifically be the one injured. Without actively participating in the Zande lifestyle one may not come to know that they do believe in magic, that they believe in an oracle whom tells them if a person has been bewitched or not, or that they may need to seek further help, if bewitched of a witchdoctor who can release the magic inside the bewitched person. Without properly observing a culture using different perspectives, theories, and observation techniques one may never fully understand a culture to the maximum. Thus, they can still withhold current beliefs about a culture that are not the full truth resulting in false information.

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