In order to understand any culture, it is essential to acknowledge the importance of taking a holistic view. This approach, which gained recognition and validation in the twentieth century, stresses the importance of accounting for all of the components of a culture. The concept requires an understanding of each subsystem, which dictates certain aspects of the culture being studied. With this theory as basis for her approach, Myerhoff is faced with the difficult task of piecing together the many parts contributing to the formation of the culture at the Center, while simultaneously recognizing the distinctions between the acting subsystems. Sometimes it seems that realizing what leads to specific cultural constructs would be extremely difficult; this is especially the case with traits that have become so naturalized that only an outsider would recognize them as distinct and significant. That said, it is obvious that there are advantages to studying a completely exotic culture, as the majority of anthropologists do; however, Myerhoff chose to do her fieldwork in a culture that is centered
Answer: Ethnical issues faced by anthropologists when they conducting an ethnographic research is dealing with situations that conflict with their own morals. For example, Sterk was faced by a lot of drugs in which you can gather she did not encounter on a regular basis in her life. She had knowledge that few women who knew they were HIV positive still continued to have unprotected sex. Not only did her bond allow her to care for these women and become concerned with their well being but she had no choice but to keep her opinions to herself. She was sitting on information that would stir up the pot in the society knowing that HIV was easily being spread through prostitution. Anthropologists will be faced with many things that may go against what they firmly believe in.
James P. Spradley (1979) described the insider approach to understanding culture as "a quiet revolution" among the social sciences (p. iii). Cultural anthropologists, however, have long emphasized the importance of the ethnographic method, an approach to understanding a different culture through participation, observation, the use of key informants, and interviews. Cultural anthropologists have employed the ethnographic method in an attempt to surmount several formidable cultural questions: How can one understand another's culture? How can culture be qualitatively and quantitatively assessed? What aspects of a culture make it unique and which connect it to other cultures? If
This study examines Horace Miner’s essay “Body Rituals Among the Nacirema. While using the participant observation approach, he gives us a new perspective on the daily behaviors within this group of people. Exploring ethnocentrism and how we view cultures outside of our own.
As we begin to go on an excursion through literature, it is important to understand the concept of what an ethnography is. Ethnography is known to be a descriptive type of work that analyzes culture and customs of individual people. James Clifford has implemented this work into his studies and has influenced many others to do the same. I saw through the books I have read, ethnography makes these books become vivacious for a reader.
With swayed feelings, and an ambivalent heart, I write on “Brother, I’m Dying”: a grim depiction of past and modern Haitian family life and another evident instance of blatant racism. Edwidge Danticat presents a number of opportunities for analysis and deductions to be drawn, however through the piece, the most evident and most inspiring facet is how communicating affection, whether through speech, writing, acts of service, etc, enables the family experience to be possible through hardship, distance, solidarity, and even death.
An anthropologist will try to read and understand the Nacirema culture with the notion of being culturally relative. With this way of thinking in mind, we could study the Nacirema peoples without any judgment. If we can come to terms with our ethnocentric views, we can quickly analyze the wrong way of thinking. Therefore, we can try to understand the Nacirema culture through their shoes. If we keep looking at their cultural in a primarily ethnocentric perspective, we would not have found the similarities between the Nacirema culture and our own.
Renato Rosaldo is one of the most highly acclaimed, contemporary anthropologists. He is also one that has sought a new style of writing to give his ethnographic accounts. In his celebrated work, Grief and a Headhunters Rage, Rosaldo uses the traditional "rules of anthropology" as the
Anthropologists then, write ethnographies which are first hand detailed description of a living culture. Often anthropologists will find individuals within the society who are willing to become informants. Even though informants can be very helpfully, they often hold bias views about their culture. Some anthropologist must learn new and sometimes unwritten languages and this may require extra training. An anthropologist's class, race, gender, language, dress, religion, and age, all effect how he/she will be interpreted by the local people.(Cultural Anthropology pg31). Each step in anthropological research brings about dilemmas common to any human interaction, engagement versus detachment, subjectivity versus objectivity, particularization versus generalization, induction versus deduction(Fieldwork, Ethnography and Ethics in Anthropology). On many occasion's, the anthropologist will leave their projects, with a new found respect and begin to question their own cultures.
When presented with ethnographic works, the first thing one would normally do would be to compare. The Vulnerable Observer by Ruth Behar and In the Realm of the Diamond Queen by Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, both demonstrate key factors that prove to be prevalent throughout the anthropological world today. Through the examination of each piece, it is clear that they both share similar restrictions, trials and tribulations. As both books begin to unravel, the themes of marginality and borders (in a multitude of contexts) rise to the surface. Besides the similarities, there are also major differences between the two pieces of work. Behar and Tsing share a very different style of anthropology, which creates am interesting contrast on the way each
In this essay, I will be creating a discourse on anthropological activism and how it relates to the basic principles of anthropology, whilst referring to the case study Activist Anthropologists by Victoria Sanford. I will provide my anthropological views on this subject based on my research.
If we take a close look at human origins, development and varieties of human beings and their societies from a personal perspective, we can to comprehend ones culture from their point of view. Observing another culture without your personal convictions influencing your hypothesis is nearly impossible. With this being said, we must utilize the emic and etic methods during observation, as instructed by anthropologists. These two different methods let the researcher obtain perspective from the outside and from within the social group. In most cases we observe from an outsiders view (etic), but to actually understand and experience another culture or society, one must become an insider (emic), or become part of the culture to fully understand the viewpoints of another social group.
Reflexology is the theory that the human body can be healed from disease or imbalance through pressure to specific points on the hands, feet, and ears (http://www.doubleclickd.com/reflexology.html). This alternative form of healing is doubted by many, although there are studies that support its theory.