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ANTH 1001: Introduction to anthropology
Monday, March 16, 2020 (Week 4)
Available at http://anthro.rschram.org/1001/2020/2.1.1
Thomas Hylland Eriksen “Fieldwork and Ethnography,” in Small Places, Large Issues: An Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology (London: Pluto Press, 2015), 32–51.
I arrived in the middle of the night. I was taken along a path in total darkness. I was shown into an empty room of a house lit only with a kerosene lantern….
In the early days of my fieldwork, I spoke in English with people and found that most adults were fluent. This doesn’t mean that we always understood each other. For instance, for my research on “culture,” people suggested that I:
I was interested in things that people take for granted
Sometimes, it felt like everything I did was a mistake!
Based on my previous study of this region, I knew I wanted to learn about two things.
One seemed like it would require genuine rapport with my hosts, but the other seemed like it would be pretty easy.
Things did not work out quite how I expected them to work.
I did ultimately conduct a household survey about people’s gardens, food, and income.
I thought my questions were quite simple. I wanted to ask
Even what I thought was basic was actually more complex
For the lecture question today, go to Canvas and answer a survey question asking for your opinion (scrolling down if needed). Any answer counts for this question.
How long should a fieldworker be immersed in the field?
The password will be announced in class.
I had to learn to listen before asking.
But if I only listened, then a lot of what I needed to know would remain unstated, so I had to ask.
Fieldwork methods are all based on an ongoing conversation between the outsider and the insider.
Ethnography is a a form of writing that cultural anthropologists use to help people understand a way of life as a cultural system.
An ethnography is (usually) a book written by someone who has conducted participant-observation fieldwork
Ethnographic writing must always balance etic and emic descriptions.
Eriksen, Thomas Hylland. 2015. “Fieldwork and Ethnography.” In Small Places, Large Issues: An Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology, 32–51. London: Pluto Press.
Gomberg-Muñoz, Ruth. 2010. “Willing to Work: Agency and Vulnerability in an Undocumented Immigrant Network.” American Anthropologist 112 (2):295–307. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1548-1433.2010.01227.x.
———. 2011. Labor and Legality: An Ethnography of a Mexican Immigrant Network. Oxford: Oxford University Press. http://books.google.com?id=9tb0SAAACAAJ.
Layard, John W. 1942. Stone Men of Malekula. London: Chatto and Windus. http://books.google.com?id=Z6etvQEACAAJ.
Malinowski, Bronislaw. (1922) 1932. Argonauts of the Western Pacific: An Account of Native Enterprise and Adventure in the Archipelagoes of Melanesian New Guinea. London: George Routledge and Sons, Ltd. http://archive.org/details/argonautsofthewe032976mbp.
Rivers, W. H. R. 1914. The History of Melanesian Society. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
General info: The goal of this class | What we will do in this class | Readings, other class requirements, and online resources | A note about attendance | The keys to success in this class | A guide to effective email | The ANTH 1001 class Canvas site (requires USYD login)
Lecture outlines and guides:
|Module 1: What makes us human?||Weeks 1–3|
|1.1.1, 1.1.2, 1.2.1, 1.2.2, 1.3.1, 1.3.2||Ryan Schram|
|Module 2: Can an anthropologist really leave her culture?||Weeks 4–6|
|2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.2.0, 2.3.0||Ryan Schram|
|Module 3: Is family universal?||Weeks 7–9|
|3.1.1, 3.1.2, 3.2.1, 3.2.2, 3.3.1, 3.3.2||Jadran Mimica|
|Module 4: Where is the mind?||Weeks 10–12|
|4.1.1, 4.1.2, 4.2.1, 4.2.2, 4.3.1, 4.3.2||Jadran Mimica|
|5.1.1, 5.1.2||Ryan Schram|
Assignments: Online discussion posts and responses | Weekly reflections | Module 1 concept quiz | Tell me a story...: An analysis of qualitative data | Proposal for a Grade 12 lesson on kinship | Comprehensive (open-book, take-home) essay response assignment