Ethnographers draw on a variety of techniques to piece together a picture of otherwise alien life style. Anthropologists usually employ several (but rarely all) of the techniques discussed here:
1. Observation and Participant Observation: Ethnographers work in natural communities. They form personal relationships with local people as they study their lives.
2. Conversation, Interviewing and Interview Schedules: Participating in local life means that ethnographers constantly talk to people and ask questions about what they observe. In practice this requires learning their language and establishing close friendship ties.
3. The Genealogical Method: The genealogical method is well-established ethnographic technique. In many non-industrial societies, kin links are basic to social life. Genealogical information is particularly important in societies in which principles of kinship, descent, and marriage organize social life.
4. Key Cultural Consultants: Ethnographers work closely with key consultants on particular areas of local life – who by accident, experience, talent, or training can provide the most complete and useful information about particular aspects of life.
5. Life Histories: In-depth interviewing, often leading to the collection of life histories of particular people. Life histories document personal experiences with culture and culture change. This recollection of lifetime of experiences provides a more intimate and personal cultural portrait that would be possible otherwise.
6. Local Beliefs and Perceptions: One goal of ethnography is to discover local views, beliefs, and perceptions, which may be compared with the ethnographer’s own observations and conclusions. Operating ethically, the ethnographer put emphasis on his objective of the study. As in other sciences, proper training can reduce, but not totally eliminate, the observer’s bias. Ethnographers typically combine etic and emic strategies in their field work. However, local people often don’t admit, or even recognize, certain causes and consequences of their behavior. Ethnographer should recognize such biases.
7. Problem Oriented Ethnography: Although anthropologists are interested in the whole context of human behavior, it is impossible to study everything, and field research usually addresses specific questions.
8. Longitudinal Research: It is rarely possible to grasp all of another culture during a short visit. Anthropologists have learned that long-term residence lasting years are necessary to see the range of cultural behavior. For instance, if a researcher lives in a small community for only a few months and no one gets married, gives birth, or dies during that time, it is unlikely that the culturally defined ways of dealing with these situations will be observed and understood. Likewise, a short-term visitor is not likely to learn about the intricate details of religious beliefs or even the complex culturally defined patterns of male-female and parent-child interaction.
9. Team Research: Contemporary anthropological research is often, formally or informally, team research. Contemporary forces of change are too pervasive and complex to be understood fully by a “lone ethnographer”. Compared with the lone ethnographer model, team work – coordinated by multiple ethnographers, across time and space produces better understanding of cultural changes and social complexity.
This article has been compiled by Classof1.com, a leading online Homework-Help provider.
For assistance with your academic assignments in Anthropology, you can visit http://classof1.com/homework-help/anthropology-homework-help
Classof1.com is open 24/7. You can call us at 1-877-252-7763 or drop an email to email@example.com
More Sales Techniques Articles