what is method in anthropology

Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Yes. To ensure that local groups’ approval is secured and respected, it is vital that proper permits be obtained and that those groups be consulted and involved in the research. Family, social organization, and even ideologies respond to environmental conditions and leave physical traces. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira. The goal of participant observation is to be involved in the cultu… Ethnography is a research strategy where the approach is to get as much information as possible about a particular culture. Using subjectivity in the field, one interprets observations with the help of personal feelings or opinions, which provide one with a more meaningful and artistically expressive connection to the objects and subjects of research. These anthropologists criticized the application of comparative and historical methods in anthropology. Through further examination, analysis, and comparison in library, laboratory, or office settings, researchers produce the discipline’s general principles and theoretical advances. It also allows for the ethnographer to relate their own feelings and reactions, all in the attempt to understand their interpretation. Field-workers avoid putting informants into dangerous or awkward positions. Linguistic fieldwork. The problem with this is that the researcher only gets a small picture of what’s going on. The simplest yet also the most intimate and rich form of direct communication is a spontaneous conversation between the anthropologist and an informant. It is also ideal when collecting data on what people actually do as opposed to what they say they do or when biology and behavior are being observed without purposeful input from the people under study. This paper discusses the relationship between the scientific method and physical anthropology. Participant Observation. Biological observations can also be made of nonprimate species in order to determine which animals and plants are present in the environment and the ecological relations between these and the population being studied. Participant-observation is cultural anthropology’s central contribution to the methodology of social science. Mirror for Humanity, 6th edition. Sound recording allows exact words, songs, and linguistic samples to be collected. Field-workers may also encounter conflicts over the ownership and study of the artifacts, biological specimens, and even ethnographic data they collect. Various field methods are used, depending on the data available, to illuminate a chosen problem. These behaviors include kinesics, dance, and speech, as well as specific intentional movements such as ritual performances and food procurement. This group of methods includes gathering data on the anatomy and physiology of humans, hominid ancestors, and other primates. The famous book, “History of Human Marriage” written by Westermark is an excellent example of it and it contains historical study of the gradual evolution of marriage in institution. In this manner, anthropologists attempt to record the emic, or insider’s view of the behavior, as opposed to the etic, or outsider’s view. Second, if the anthropologist hails from another cultural background, these new experiences will be registered in the context of earlier experiences that are different from those of local people and that may on a personal level seem strange or even immoral. (2001). Fossils are often embedded in sedimentary rock and are discovered through systematic survey of landscapes where sediments of appropriate age are eroding on the surface. However, they may represent the best compromise between obtaining data to test a particular hypothesis and gaining insight into local views. Living among the people under study, ethnographers use observation and description of the settings in which people live, participant-observation in social activities, various forms of interviewing, and focus groups. Objectivity refers to perceiving and describing something from as neutral and unbiased a perspective as possible in order to produce observations that can be verified by a trained community of observers. The rubric cultural anthropology is generally applied to ethnographic works that are holistic in approach, oriented to the ways in which culture affects individual experience, or aim to provide a rounded view of the knowledge, customs, and institutions of a people. Field methods in archaeology. Newman, P., & Ratliff, M. All anthropological field methods can be grouped into five basic categories: (1) material observation, (2) biological observation, (3) behavioral observation, (4) direct communication, and (5) participant-observation.

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