Ethnography & Participant Observation

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  • 1. Ethnography andParticipant ObservationPAUL ATKINSONMARTYN HAMMERSLEYPresented byFerry JAOLIS

2. Science and Social Life: 3 Dimensions Differences in views about which of the naturalsciences is to be taken as paradigmatic for scientificmethod. There can be various interpretations even of anymethod held to be characteristic of particular sciencesat particular times. There can be disagreements about what aspects ofnatural scientific method should and should not beapplied to social research. 3. ETHNOGRAPHY vsSCIENCE1Relies on artificial settings (in the case of experiments)2Relies on what people say than do (in survey)3Reducing observable meanings.4A static social phenomena. 4. Natural science is Cultural disillusionment A highly destructive weaponry An oppressive force that dominates the modern world Sometimes associated with male aggression andpatriarchy LINK WITH THESCIENCE MODELHUMANITIES 5. QUESTIONING THE OBJECTIVITY OF SOCIAL RESEARCH: ETHNOGRAPHY 1 2 Findings of social Is it possible to becomeresearch (including a social scientificethnography) were knowledge?too masculin. The findings reflect Limited by a male only presuppositionspoint of view.and sociohistorical A bourgeois, advocates of The ability of theseblack sociology.research to produceknowledge that isuniversally valid. 6. The criticism against ethnography OBJECTIVITY: The observers presence may in itself contribute to results that areinaccurate; Since the observed behavior is not usual behavior, hencethe derived results are false because it does not depict normalbehavior. Reflect only the masculinity assumptions of researchers. The possibility of ethno to become knowledge which is impossible dueto the production of the ethno works only constructions, based onpresuppositions ; cannot be universal knowledge. The literary models and motifs of the ehnographers are similar toeach other. This whole criticism were lately turn to skepticism or relativism 7. Another debate about ethnography The relationship of it to social and political practice: Most ethnography has been directed toward contributing to disciplinary knowledge rather than solving practical problems. An applied anthropology movements in USA indicating a stand where the ethnographers direct their orientation to solving practical problems. In Britain, ironnically, this applied ethnography trends has been more obvious to commercial market research than in gov-funded work. These trends causing some modifications of ethnographic practict These trends also arisen out from the concern about the lack of impact that ethnographic has on social & political practice, which in turn, demanding more that practitioners themselves must included in the research to make it more practically relevant, this led to collaborative research. 8. The end of the debatecontd. The main goal of ethnography is the production ofknowledge, of which should not be replaced with thepursuit of practical goals, because: The practical goals are no more worthy than the pursuit of knowledge in terms of time and effort. The goals themselves sometimes not practically achieveable. Conclusion on this that we have to stay focus on theproduction of knowledge and not misprioritize it with thegoal of practical solution to the social and political world. 9. Rethoric and Representation Recently, there are more attention to the aesthetics andethics of ethnographic texts: authority and authorship,connection among rhetoric, representation, and logicgenerally. This rhetoric follows the theoretical and methodologicaltendencies like feminism, poststructuralism, andpostmodernism, especially from cultural and socialanthropologist, recently by sociologists. Regardless those various tendencies, the broad theme ofrhetoric among all disciplines are: conventionality ofethno texts, representation of Self and Other in suchtexts, the character of ethno as textual genre, the natureof ethno argumentation, and the rhetoric of evidence. 10. Rethoric and Representation .. Among social and cultural anthropologists,the standard ethno or monograph wassometimes a taken-for-granted format. In 1973, Geertz, claiming that thoseanthropological writings could be regardedas fiction, because; crafted by theirauthors, shaped by literary conventions These two expertsand devices.sought to In 1986, Clifford and Marcus works onilluminate theWriting Culture, is a sign of criticalawareness on ethno textuality,literaryemphasizing the textual imposition that antecedents thatanthropology exerts over its subjectare similar amongmatter, also the interplay of the literary. anthropologists 11. The literary critics of Atkinson Atkinson (1982) track the origin of these literaryand parallels of the social ethno associated withChicago school, USA He criticize the literary also. In 1990, Atkinson identifies therecurrent/repeated textual methods and motifsthat ethno construct their texts, using a variousmajor devices and tropes (kiasan/figure ofspeech): Narrative forms used to convey accounts of social action and causation. Uses of various figures of speech such as metaphor, irony, and synecdoche. 12. Rethoric and Representation Some aspects of literary antecedentscriticized were: For anthropology, an attention to literary as well as biographicalaffinities between the work of Malinowski and Conrad (byClifford, 1988), between surrealism and French ethno (Cllfford,1988), and in the poetic writing of Benedict and Sapir (Brady,1991) Atkinson (1982) revealed an identification of Chicago schoolurban ethno with the naturalistic and realistic novels of Americanliterature. In Britain, the sociologists like Booth and Rowntree have majoraffinities/closeness with several literary models. Even famous author/writer of fictional products such as Dickens,provide real mixtures of realism, melodrama, and grotesque thatsimilar to the sociological tradition. 13. Fight against the literary criticism of ethno In 1990, a group of British anthro revealed the differenttextual styles according to different regional biases andpreoccupations, criticizing back the literary critics fortreating anthro ethno as a undifferentiated textual type. In 1988, Van Maanen explores various modes of ethnowriting, contrasting the style of realist (typically beingcentral, more impersonal) and confessional (typicallybeing marginal, more personal) among sociologists andanthros. 14. Implications of rhetorical turns: Has ethical and political implications A paradox between the ethnographers and theethnography as textual product: On one hand is the ethnos epistemological, personal, and moral commitment to his/her hosts, an assimilation between the observer and observed in social and culture, a shared social world. On the other hand, the classic text of ethno itself claimed a radical distinction between the Author and the Other. For example, in the methods of realist, the Author has privilege voice to the text written, but the voice of the Other is muted. Regarding this, a movement occurs to produce more dialogic forms of ethno writing replacing the monologic ones (a work example of Dwyer, 1982). 15. The role of participant observation: The rhetorical turn has intimately related to apostmodern tendency in the construction ofethnography; explores the discontinuities, paradoxes, andinconsistencies of culture and action. Thus, the postmodern author seeks to eliminate thedistance between the observer and the observed. Theuse of participant observation thus is to produce adialogue that shows the cooperative and collaborativenature of the ethno situation (Tyler, 1986).