Ethnographic Research Paper: French Culture

2190 Words Mar 6th, 2007 9 Pages
Ethnographic Research Paper: French Culture

A common saying goes like this, "You cannot judge a book by its cover." This saying may have many meanings, but to a social and cultural anthropologist, it signifies that no-one should pre-judge others on their values, beliefs and interests just by their appearance. In order to understand and be familiar with a culture, one has to perform a series of ethnographic research from fieldwork, participant observation, ethnology to something as accessible as interviewing someone in your community. From this, you can unearth what influences people's personalities and beliefs, which may involve a mixture of their culture, family values and personal beliefs. I have done an ethnographic study by
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When I asked Laurent of an important lesson he learned as a child, he said to "Never give up." He believes that if you want to achieve something bad enough, you should just go for it. He believes that education is very important in helping him achieve his goals.What he aims for in life is a good education because he doesn't like people who are ignorant of others. His parents were very supportive of him as a child.
He comes from a nuclear family, and says that most families in France are also structured as nuclear families. They believe in monogamy relationships. This is the norm for most families in France. Laurent's only close kin are his brother and parents, the rest of his extended family lives scattered all over France. Like in the United States, newborns are assigned a gender of either male or female and French children are taught to be independent from infancy. Cultural requirements and norms in France value independent individuals. From my interview with Laurent, I also learned in his culture, they value good morals, they believe in hard work and a good formal education.
Generally, children only help with small domestic chores such as washing the dishes or taking out the trash. They hold no extremely important role in society until they reach adulthood which is around the age of 18. Children usually stay home until they are done with school which is about 25 years of age. Then they move away and begin living on their own.