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1001:2020:2.1.1 [2020/03/01 21:08]
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1001:2020:2.1.1 [2020/03/12 22:36] (current)
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-====== Anthropologists are professional strangers—The method of “fieldwork” ​(part 1) ======+====== Anthropologists are professional strangers—The method of “fieldwork” ======
  
-===== Anthropologists are professional strangers—The method of “fieldwork” ​(part 1) =====+===== Anthropologists are professional strangers—The method of “fieldwork” =====
  
 Ryan Schram Ryan Schram
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 Thomas Hylland Eriksen “Fieldwork and Ethnography,​” in //Small Places, Large Issues: An Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology//​ (London: Pluto Press, 2015), 32–51. Thomas Hylland Eriksen “Fieldwork and Ethnography,​” in //Small Places, Large Issues: An Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology//​ (London: Pluto Press, 2015), 32–51.
  
-===== References ​=====+===== My arrival in Auhelawa ​=====
  
-Eriksen, Thomas Hylland“Fieldwork and Ethnography.” In //Small Places, Large Issues: An Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology//,​ 32–51. London: Pluto Press, 2015.+I arrived in the middle of the nightI was taken along a path in total darknessI was shown into an empty room of a house lit only with a kerosene lantern….
  
 +===== Culture and “culture” =====
  
 +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:
 +
 +  * interview the newly-trained kindergarten teachers in village schools
 +  * collect the oral histories of people’s matrilineages,​ and find a solution to all of the current disputes over land ownership
 +  * conduct surveys on people’s food production and income
 +
 +===== Observation and participation =====
 +
 +I was interested in things that people take for granted
 +
 +  * Participant-observation
 +  * Rapport
 +
 +Sometimes, it felt like everything I did was a mistake!
 +
 +  * “Where are you going?”
 +
 +===== Gardens and funerals =====
 +
 +Based on my previous study of this region, I knew I wanted to learn about two things.
 +
 +  * Mortuary feasting, that is, the ceremonies associated with death, mourning, burial.
 +  * Gardening, especially yam gardening.
 +
 +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.
 +
 +===== The story of “fieldwork”:​ Malinowski in the Trobriands =====
 +
 +  * W. H. R. Rivers and expeditionary methods (e.g.  Rivers 1914)
 +    * Survey questionnaires and diffusionist hypotheses
 +    * Salvage ethnography
 +  * Bronislaw Malinowski and the Cambridge expedition of 1914 (Malinowski [1922] 1932, especially pages 1-25)
 +    * Immersion in one place
 +    * First-hand observation of actual happenings
 +    * Imponderabilia of everyday life and typical pattern of behavior
 +    * Key words, technical terms, verbatim quotations
 +
 +===== Another story of fieldwork: Layard on Atchin =====
 +
 +  * Rivers and John W. Layard on Atchin (Tsan) island in the New Hebrides islands (today in Malakula, Vanuatu) (Layard 1942)
 +    * Abandoned by Rivers, who got frustrated
 +    * Left alone to make friends
 +    * Adopted by another outsider: Maki
 +    * Participated in a big collective project: The revival of the Maki
 +
 +===== Yet another story of fieldwork: Gomberg-Muñoz and The Lions =====
 +
 +  * Ruth Gomberg-Muñoz wanted to understand the ways in which undocumented immigrants from Mexico made a living in Chicago (Gomberg-Muñoz 2011)
 +  * Met with her fellow workers separately and in social occasions outside of work
 +  * Worked in a restaurant, as a waitress, not a busboy
 +  * At work, she used “head notes” and expanded on them after hours
 +    * Work in the restaurant is “The Busboy Show” (Gomberg-Muñoz 2010)
 +  * Her informants (that is, research subjects), their restaurant, and the collective name for them are all pseudonyms
 +
 +===== Survey questions =====
 +
 +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
 +
 +  * Who were members of the household?
 +  * What kinds of food did people grow?
 +  * What did they do to earn money?
 +
 +Even what I thought was basic was actually more complex
 +
 +  * Garden: //oya//, or //​yaheyahe//​ (or, //​yaʻwayaʻwala//​)?​
 +  * Family and/or household: //susu// (but this concept also refers to a matrilineage).
 +
 +===== Survey: How long should fieldwork last? =====
 +
 +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.
 +
 +===== Learning how to ask =====
 +
 +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.
 +
 +  * Example: //tetela// (lineage history)
 +
 +Fieldwork methods are all based on an ongoing conversation between the outsider and the insider.
 +
 +===== Writing ethnography =====
 +
 +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.
 +
 +
 +## References
 +
 +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.
  
 ===== A guide to the unit ===== ===== A guide to the unit =====
1001/2020/2.1.1.txt · Last modified: 2020/03/12 22:36 by Ryan Schram (admin)