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Anthropological Fieldwork

Anthropological Fieldwork

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Anthropological Fieldwork

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  1. Anthropological Fieldwork

  2. Fieldwork & Methods • Preparation for the Field • Adapting to the Field Situation • Establishing a Role • Developing Rapport • Methods & Techniques of Data Gathering

  3. What Preparations Must Be Made? • Define a Research Problem • Select a Research Location • Learn the Language • Read Relevant Literature • Seek Advice • Write a Research Proposal • Get Government Permission • Take Medical Precautions

  4. Adapting – 4 Phases • Honeymoon Phase • Anthropologist as “Exotic Outsider” • Critical Period • Anthropologist as “Tolerated Stranger” • Initial Recovery • Anthropologist as “Town Clown” • Adjustment • Anthropologist as “Marginal Native” What About Going Native?

  5. …always a 5th wheel

  6. Culture Shock • Bronislaw Malinowski • Hortense Powdermaker • Napoleon Chagnon

  7. Jean Briggs – Kapluna Daughter

  8. Napoleon Chagnon -- Yanomamo

  9. Exoticizing the Cultural “Other”

  10. First Fieldwork1984-85 i

  11. Entry

  12. Culture Shock

  13. Life Shock

  14. Establishing a Role

  15. Living With a Family

  16. Developing Trust & Rapport • Lack of understanding on what an anthropologist is • Missionary? CIA agent? • Chance events • Getting beneath the surface • Factions

  17. Methods & Techniquesfor Data Gathering • Participant Observation • Key Informants • Collecting Data • Interpretation • Ethics

  18. Participant Observation

  19. Participation: • Involvement / immersion; subjective • Observation: • Detachment; objective • Etic: • Outsider’s understanding • Emic: • Insider’s understanding • Intellectual Biculturalism

  20. Key Informants

  21. Analytic Informants

  22. Immersed Informants

  23. Collecting Data • Census & Mapping • Interviews • Eliciting Texts: Oral Histories, Folklore, Myths • Genealogies / Kinship • Photography • Field Notes

  24. Mapping, Census & Sampling • Ocotillo, Colima • A small village • 1984-91

  25. Puruarán, Mich. • A large town • 1998- present

  26. Genealogies

  27. Interviewing+Oral HistoriesFolkloreMythsPhotography Interview – Puruarán, 2000 Name: __________ House # _________ Close ended: 1. How many years have you been a cane grower? 2. How many hectares of cane do you cultivate? 3. What is your yield per hectare? 4. Do you deliver your cane to Puruarán or Pedernales? 5. Are you able to support your family with income from your cane? Open ended: 35. How did the closing of the sugar mill in 1992 affect the community? 36. Did you support the takeover and reopening of the mill? What did you do? 37. Do you think the people in the social movement are united? Explain. 38. Do you think the struggle for the mill has been a success? Why or why not? 39. What are your thoughts about the way the cooperative is working?

  28. 35. Evaluating how it affected my family, if I was bad off, imagine how it affected the community—even worse. The community is like my family. There was no money and the government didn’t help at all, it only left us dying. 36. I was born here and I have to look out for my town, for the sugar mill. I took part in the demonstrations in Morelia. Two or three hundred of us went. I spent two years working without pay and without eating for love of the struggle. 37. There are many people united, but many are not. Since the beginning there were personal interests involved and there was no justice. They closed the mill and the police entered. We arrived to guard the mill. Then the debacle began. They sacked the machinery. Then another group arrived with different interests. If the people were united, they wouldn’t deliver their cane to Pedernales. 38. I would say yes. Here is the proof. The sugar mill is working and suceeding. 39. It is a failure. Many are disillusioned and lost their spirit, because of the bad management.

  29. Field Notes

  30. March 1, 2000. Interview with Jesús S. Jesús was dressed in jeans and T-shirt. When I ask specific questions, I sense resistance on his part—if I engage him in discussion of larger issues,he is more responsive. He tends to warm up as the interview goes along. He talked about the cooperative. “Here we struggled, we sacrificed. There is more to a cooperative than joining it, you have to carry it in your heart. The cooperative symbolizes hope, democracy, justice, and freedom—that’s what’s important.” February 18, 2000. Interview with Fernando V. Fernando refers to himself as a “humble person.” He has no political aspriations, saying “I am a person of the country.” He showed me scars on his wrist from machete cuts. He never wanted to be comisariado, but serves out of sense of obligation to the community. Fernando is totally opposed to Jesús S. and the way the coop is being run. His primary complaint is that S. does not inform people and he makes all the decisions. “Unfortunately, I am not in agreement with the cooperative.”

  31. Interpretation

  32. Pastores

  33. Issues of Validity & Reliability • Validity: • Dialectic: “Truth” & the mutual construction of knowledge • Reliability: • Robert Redfield vs. Oscar Lewis • Margaret Mead vs. Derrick Freeman • Napoleon Chagnon vs. Patrick Tierney • Rigoberta Menchú vs. David Stoll

  34. AAA Principles of Professional Responsibility • Responsibility to Those Studied: • Rights & interests must be safeguarded • Communicate Aims of the investigation • Right to remain anonymous • No exploitation of informants for personal gain • Reflect on foreseeable repercussions of research & publication • Communicate Anticipated consequences • Reports to sponsors must also be available to those studied • Cooperate with the host community in planning & execution of the research

  35. Responsibility to the Public • Speak out publicly about research results • Responsibility to the Discipline • Behavior should not jeopardize future research • Responsibility to Students • Make students aware of ethical problems • Responsibility to Sponsors • Honest about qualifications and aims; accept no conditions that violate the ethical principles • Responsibility to Own & Host Government • Research should not compromise future research