Objectivity and Fieldwork Essay

1118 Words Apr 24th, 2013 5 Pages
Objectivity and Fieldwork
Researchers throughout the world most often conduct practical work in a all natural environment outside their laboratory or office in order to experience in firsthand what it is to live outside the society they have been exposed to all their lives, and integrate into another civilization that imposes cultural traditions and policies that the researcher may have never been imposed to in the past. These types of works or studies that ethnographers conduct are called fieldworks; and they help researchers learn the ways and customs of a certain group or kin outside a society. The researcher’s method of fully understanding the culture of the group of individuals they study is by integrating into their assemblage or
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Being the daughter of an Arab and also of an American; she portrayed herself as being in “numerous ways culturally more American than an Arabian” individual (Abu-Lughod, 1988:140). Throughout her work, the author makes it clear that the factors of being a woman of Arab descent and her positionality had several consequences in the types of research she could perform and the ties and relationships she could build with the members of the Bedouin tribe. The fact that she was a “Dutiful daughter” doing fieldwork in a segregated society helped her understand the significance of modesty and humility for women in the Bedouin tribe. “…with the contributors to this volume I share the experience of being a woman studying a sex-segregated society. Unlike most of them, I was in the peculiar situation of being neither completely a cultural insider, nor a total outsider.” (Abu-Lughod, 1988:140). Being in a segregated society were male dominance was a basic characteristic of the natives exposed the author to both sides, but mostly to the female’s side, and that is what her research was mostly based on. Being one of the natives benefited her fieldwork, because she had the opportunity to feel and act just as one of them by adapting to their culture. Malinowski on the contrary was more reserved when writing his fieldwork experiences, because he did not

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