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ANTH 1001: Introduction to anthropology
Wednesday, March 18, 2020 (Week 4)
Available at http://anthro.rschram.org/1001/2020/2.1.2
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 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
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 emic and etic descriptions.
For Mel Spiro, anthropology makes what is “familiar strange” and what is “strange familiar” by moving from a particular cultural worldview to a “third set of concepts — that, anthropological concepts” which try to be neutral (Spiro 1990, 49). This third position is the etic perspective.
etic is to emic as analysis is to synthesis
|oral historical narrative describing a lineage’s founding, migration, and descent||tetela|
|the stylized expressions of deference and circumspection by certain* relatives toward the matrilineal kin of a deceased person||veʻahihi (respect)|
* Specifically the affines and the patrifilial relatives, etic terms for kinds of kinship which I won’t explain today.
This question is inspired by a question asked by a student in this class on Monday. It really doesn't have an easy answer. What you do think? (This is a survey question. Go to Quizzes on Canvas, scroll down to Surveys, and answer yes or no—either counts.)
The password for today's lecture question is difference (not “different” :P)
Ethnographic descriptions generally take the form of narrative so that the reader can imagine themselves as part of what is described
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