Text of Fieldwork and Ethnography. Fieldwork living with people for an extended time to gather data using a...
Fieldwork and Ethnography
Fieldwork living with people for an extended time to gather data using a variety of field techniques for collecting that data fieldwork & field techniques developed in the study of smaller scale societies with greater cultural uniformity compared to large-scale industrial societies the concept of holism
Before Fieldwork schooling & training language acquisition (at school & in the field) research proposal visa, government bureaucracies & permissions to do fieldwork changing nature of the rules of fieldwork
Medicine, money, and as field equipment
Entering the Field expats (missionaries, other anthros, international development people) tourists going native types exceptional locals culture shock refuge from the natives
Field Techniques: The Ethnographic Method participant-observation - defining characteristic of cultural anthropology & its methods of research first-hand observation of daily behavior; immersed in daily life no other human science does this what people say & what they do
(Kottak), "The common humanity of the student and the studied, the ethnographer and the researched community, makes participant observation inevitable."
(Malinowski), , in this type of work, it is good for the ethnographer sometimes to put aside camera, note book and pencil, and to join in himself in what is going on."
Surveys & Interviews 2 techniques of asking questions & eliciting responses quantitative vs. qualitative methods enumerated/statistical descriptive/ interpretive
Ethnographic vs. Survey Research study whole functioning community vs. a sample develop rapport totality of an informant's life-context context & thick description adds depth to survey data (i.e. kinship genealogies)
Life History recollections of lifetime experiences identify important life turns for a culture indicates the diversity of experience within what appears to be a society of cultural uniformity problem with remembering in the present Notions of narrative and history
what is a "well informed informant"? compared to who? the relationships between ethnographer & informant relations of power trust, friendship, economic contract, learning, adopted as family member, prestige for both
Anthropology in pairs and such
TYPES OF KNOWLEDGE Emic local knowledge: how people think, perceive, categorize the world; what has meaning in their world-the natives point of view Etic -- shift focus from the native's point of view to that of the anthropologist
Reflexivity Type of knowledge intersubjective A self consciousness about the impact on the data produced in the context of doing fieldwork and writing culture how the anthropologist effects the thoughts, actions of informants how the ethnocentrism of the anthro colors the interpretation and final representation of others thinking & actions
Paul Rabinow on Reflexive Knowledge Field data are constructs of the process by which we acquire them -- intersubjective The problem is a hermeneutical one hermeneutic interpretation... as the comprehension of self by the detour of the comprehension of the other Fieldwork is dialectic DIALECTIC BECAUSE NEITHER THE SUBJECT NOR THE OBJECT REMAIN STATIC
Ali & Rabinow highlighting, identification, and analysis also disturbed Alis usual patterns of experience. forced to reflect on his own activities and objectify them [as an informant]. began to develop an art of presenting his world to me But the more we engaged in such activity, the more he experienced aspects of his own life in new ways.
Reflexive Knowledge and Doing Anthropology as Negotiated Reality a mutually constructed ground of experience and understanding an acknowledgement of the dialogue between the anthropologist and the informant in the experience of fieldwork
Negotiated Reality anthropologists are historically situated through the questions we ask and the manner we seek to understand and experience the world anthropologists receive from our informants their interpretations that are also mediated by culture and history the data is doubly mediated first by presence of the anthropologist Then by a second order self-reflection of our informants
fieldwork is an experience in humanity a kind of social relationship risky business
Anthropology and the Ethics of Fieldwork Anthropological researchers, teachers and practitioners are members of many different communities, each with its own moral rules or codes of ethics In both proposing and carrying out research, anthropological researchers must be open about the purpose(s), potential impacts, and source(s) of support for research projects with funders, colleagues, persons studied or providing information, and with relevant parties affected by the research.
Ethics and Informant Relationships Anthropological researchers have primary ethical obligations to the people, species, and materials they study and to the people with whom they work avoid harm or wrong respect the well-being consult actively with the affected individuals or group(s)
Fieldwork and Informed Consent Anthropological researchers should obtain in advance the informed consent of persons being studied, providing information, owning or controlling access to material being studied, or otherwise identified as having interests which might be impacted by the research
Ethics Beyond the Field Responsibility to scholarship and science Responsibility to the public Responsibility to students and trainees www.aaanet.org