ETHNOGRAPHY Ethnography and its Topics The Rise of Ethnography as a Science Scope and Focus Ethnography and its Significance Communicative Functions Summary
Ethnography and its Topics Ethnography includes the following topics: patterns and functions of communication nature and definitions of speech communities means of communicating components of communicative competence relationship of language to world view and social organisation linguistic and social universals and inequalities
The Rise of Ethnography as a Science For a long time ethnographers and linguists failed to account for an interrelationship of language and culture Scientist Dell Hymes called for an approach which would deal with aspects of communication which were both: anthropological and linguistic 1962, with the publication of The Ethnography of Speaking Hymes launched for a new disciplin:
The Rise of Ethnography as a Science The Ethnography of Communication (as the field has come to be known) the Ethnography of Not much later the Ethnography of Communication has become an emergent Communication has become an emergent discipline, addressing a largely new order of discipline, addressing a largely new order of information in the structuring of communicative information in the structuring of communicative behaviour and its role in the conduct of social life. behaviour and its role in the conduct of social life.
Scope and Focus As with any other science, the Ethnography of Communication has two foci: 1. particularistic: is directed towards the description and understanding of communicative behaviour in specific cultural settings 2. generalizing: is directed towards the formulation of concepts and theories upon which to build a global metatheory of human communication
Scope and Focus TOPIC QUESTION: (the subject matter of the Ethnography of Communication is best illustrated by one of ist most general questions) What does a speaker need to know to communicate appropriately within a particular speech community, and how does he or she learn? Such knowledge, together with whatever skills are needed to make use of it, is: Communicative Competence
Scope and Focus Language is best understood when the: habits customs institutions philosophy (all the subject-matters embodied in the language) are best known. The student of a language should be a student of the people who speak the language!
Scope and Focus Middle of 20th century: Observed behaviour is regarded as a manifestation of a deeper set of codes and rules, and the task of Ethnography is seen as the discovery and explication of the rules for contextually appropriate behaviour in a community or group. In other words: Culture is what the individual needs to know to be a functional member of the community.
Scope and Focus Doing Ethnography in other cultures involves first and foremost fieldwork: observing asking questions participation in group activities testing the validity of one`s perception against the intuitions of natives
Scope and Focus Reveals that many of the communicative practices assumed to be natural or logical are in fact as culturally unique and conventional as the language code itself. Essential feature of all ethnographers: A sense of cultural realtivism
Ethnography and its Significance For Antrophology: The Ethnography of Communication extends understandings of cultural systems to language, relating language to: social organisation role-relationship values and beliefs other shared patterns of knowledge and behaviour which are transmitted from generation to generation in the process of socialization/enculturation
Ethnography and its Significance For Psycholinguistics: the Ethnography of Communication means that studies of language acquisition must not only recognize the innate capacity of children to learn to speak but must account for how particular ways of speaking are developed in particular societies in the process of social interaction such cross-cultural research requires the openness and relativism of ethnographic methods
Ethnography and its Significance For Sociolinguistics: (Sociolinguistics generally involves the recording of naturalistic speech in various contexts) the Ethnography of Communication helps to evaluate the social significance of the material recorded ethnographic knowledge about social norms govering linguistic choices in the situation recorded helps to understand them
Ethnography and its Significance For Applied Linguistics: the identification of what second language learners must know in order to communicate appropriately in various contexts contrasting whole communicative systems in cross-cultural interaction and translation recognizing and analyzing communicative missunderstandings knowing possible sactions for various communicative shortcomings
Ethnography and its Significance For Theoretical Linguistics: make a significant contribution to the study of universals in language forms and use language-specific and comparative fields of description and analysis its approaches and findings are essential for the formulation of a truely adequate theory of language and linguistic competence
Communicative Functions the need to look at the larger socio-political contexts within which culturally situated communication takes place, as these contexts may determine features of communication in ways that are not evident from focus on communicative patterns alone
Communicative Functions Examples: Greetings in some languages; e.g.: Korean the greeting may carry crucial information identifying the speakers` relationship Expressions of pain and stress: 1. In English speech communities people learn withdrawel or anger 2. In Japanese nervous laughter 3. In Navajo silence All seems to be culturally patterned!
Communicative Functions At societal level language serves many functions: e.g.: creating/reinforcing boundaries unifying its speakers as members of a single speech community excluding outsiders from intragroup communication Certain linguistic features are often employed by poeple, consciously or unconsciously, to identify themselves and others, and thus serve to mark and maintain various social categories and divisions
Communicative Functions At the level of individuals and group interacting with one another, the functions of communication are directly related to the participants` purposes and needs: expressive (conveying feelings or emotions) directive (requesting or demanding) referential (true or false propositional content) poetic (aesthetic) phatic (empathy and solidarity) matalinguistic (reference to language itself) For ethnographers, the functional perspective has priority in description
Communicative Functions While many of the functions of language are universal, the ways in which communication operates in any one sociesty to serve these functions is laguage specific. The same relative status of two speakers may be conveyed by: their choice of pronominal forms in one language by the distance they stand apart of their body position while speaking in another language and between bilinguals, even by their choice of which language is used to addressing one another
Summary How the science of the Ethnography of Communication developed What certain topics it deals with What its significance for other science is That Communicative Functions are culturally patterned
The Analysis of Communicative Events Smeyye ztrk-Mutlu Grundstudium 2. Semester
The Analysis of Communicative Events The ethnographers are interested in identifying recurrent events in community, recognizing their salient components, discovering the relationship among components and between the event and other aspects of society.
Types of Data -Background Information: Including settlement history, sources of population, history of contact with other groups and notable events affecting language issue or ethnic relations. -Material Artifacts: Including architecture, signs and such instruments of communication as telephones, radios, books, television sets and drums.
Types of Data -Social Organization: Including a listing of community institutions, identities of leaders and office holders, the composition of the business and professional sectors, sources of power and influence, formal and informal organizations, ethnic and class relations, social stratification, and distribution and association patterns
Types of Data -Legal Information: Law and court decisions like what constitutes slander , what obscenity and what is the nature and value of freedom of speech , or how it is restricted. -Artistic Data: Including literary sources (written or oral), song lyrics, drama and other genres of verbal performance and calligraphy.