Ethnography Essay

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Reflexivity is a qualitative method of research that takes an ethnography one step further, displaying the personal thoughts and reflections of the anthropologist on his informants. Ethnographies generally take an outside or foreign perspective of a culture, like reading a text, and reflexivity introduces a new component of inside description. Here, the anthropologist may describe personal interactions and experiences with natives and use this inside information to make additional conclusions about the people being studied. The ethnographer may also reflect on his ethnic connections with his informants, or his acceptance into the society, explaining that it provides valuable, inside knowledge of the …show more content…

Kondo writes, " As a Japanese-American young woman doing fieldwork in Japan, the Other was not totally Other for me" (75). This ethnic connection played a primary role in her acceptance by a Japanese family and eventually by Japanese society. She describes that, "later in the summer, the wife confided to me that she would never have allowed a 'true American' to live with them." Living with the Japanese family taught Kondo the proper etiquette of a Japanese female and the longer she stayed in Japan the more she transformed. She gained an insider perspective because she gained cultural acceptance, although she was still viewed by many as an other. Kondo began to develop relationships and soon after natives began to ask her to teach them English, and to attend several social gatherings. As more people asked her favors she became irritated, but after a conversation with her landlady she realized that the, "Japanese don't treat themselves as important, they spend time doing things for the sake of maintaining good social relationships, regardless of their inner feelings" (81). This realization had a strong impact on Kondo. Her reflections displayed so much about the Japanese culture in addition to her ethnography. It led her to shift her research from kinship and economics, " to an even more basic cultural assumption: the nature of the person, and his/her

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