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Cultural Anthropology/Anthropological Methods

Examples of Course Projects

❶Historically, the group of people being studied was a small, non-Western society. This shift was progressed further by the emergence of second-wave feminism in the early s, which introduced ideas of martial oppression, sexual autonomy, and domestic subordination.

Research Methods in Cultural Anthropology (Winter 2019)

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Anthropology vs Sociology Research Methods

No eBook available Amazon. Read, highlight, and take notes, across web, tablet, and phone. He served as editor of the American Anthropologist and Human Organization. The four editions of his methods text Research Methods in Anthropology AltaMira and his general research methods text Social Research Methods Sage , have been used by tens of thousands of students. Bernard was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

The text reflects the significant changes that have taken place in the study of anthropology over the last decade, and includes many examples from real field projects. The author lays out the major My library Help Advanced Book Search. Anthropologists also commonly construct genealogies diagrams of kinship relations and maps to show how the people in communities are related to one another, how people organize themselves in groups, and how people and groups interact with each other.

These research tools can provide a way for anthropologists to see cultural patterns and complexities of daily life that would otherwise be difficult to discern or comprehend. Many anthropologists combine cultural research with studies of the environments in which people live.

Human ecology examines how people interact with their natural environments, such as to make a living. For instance, in the s American anthropologist Roy Rappaport analyzed the ecological significance of a ritual cycle of peace and warfare among the Tsembaga people of Papua New Guinea. Rappaport found that the Tsembaga and neighboring groups would maintain peace for periods of between 12 and 20 years.

During these periods, the people would grow sweet potato gardens and raise pigs. The people would also guard areas of land they had previously gardened but which were now unused and believed to be occupied by ancestor spirits.

When the presence of too many pigs rooting up gardens and eating sweet potato crops became a nuisance, the Tsembaga would feast on the pigs, perform a ritual to remove spirit ancestors from old gardens, and then lift the ban on warfare. The lifting of the ban allowed the Tsembaga to capture abandoned lands from other groups.

This regulation of warfare coincided with the amount of time it took for abandoned gardens to regain their fertility, and so made good ecological sense. The practice of phonology, for example, involves precisely documenting the sound properties of spoken words. Many linguistic anthropologists also practice orthography, the technique of creating written versions of spoken languages. In addition, most study the properties of grammar in languages, looking for the rules that guide how people communicate their thoughts through strings of words.

Anthropologists have studied such topics as how different languages assign gender to words, shape the ways in which people perceive the natural and supernatural worlds, and create or reinforce divisions of rank and status within societies. For instance, many of the peoples native to North America conceive of time as a continual cycle of renewal, a concept quite different from the European belief that time only moves forward in a progression from the past to the future.

English and other European languages cannot as easily express such an idea, nor can most Europeans or Americans of European descent truly understand it. Archaeologists use specialized research methods and tools for the careful excavation and recording of the buried remains of past cultures. Remote sensing involves the use of airplane photography and radar systems to find buried sites of past human cultures. Rigorous methods of excavation allow archaeologists to map the precise locations of remains for later analysis.

The qualitative practice gives the triangulation method its inquiry results. The quantitative practice gives it the validation results. It combines a scientific approach with an observational approach.

According to the Administrative Science Quarterly, it is a "vehicle for cross-validation when two or more distinct methods are found to be congruent and yield comparable data". Relying on one form of research can create a bias. The general problem with measurement data, is the individual or group being researched tends to tell you what you want to hear instead of the full truth. Triangulation helps prevent bias by giving the researcher the opportunity to participate in individual, self-reported and observational methods with those being researched.

Sampling bias generally means that the researcher doesn't have time to cover the entire group they are focusing on. Or they focus on what they think the important parts of a society are and don't study the less important aspects. Triangulation can combine phone research, face-to-face interviews, and online surveys to ensure that the researcher is getting the most accurate results. In all, the triangulation method for fieldwork can combine all aspects of research to create the most accurate and detailed results, taking different perspectives and various sources to culminate into the most accurate model or a culture.

Quantitative research is more interested in hard data procured through things like surveys, polls, and censuses. This type of research is interested in things like the percentage of people interviewed that agree with one statement versus another, the number of people in a culture that belong to a certain organization, or how many people in a country speak the native language versus how many are bilingual or only speak a foreign language.

This method of research usually requires a large random sample group. It is totally concerned with the hard evidence quantity through statistics and recorded happenings, participants, and locations. Qualitative research is typically descriptive, or anecdotal, and does not lend itself to the analysis of quantitative data. Qualitative research is in-depth research that seeks to understand why something happens the way it does.

In anthropology, qualitative research includes participating as well as observing. It often crosses disciplinary boundaries and strays from a single subject, or variable being studied. Due to the specific rapport required to obtain qualitative data, it generally requires a smaller sample size.

Made popular during the late 18th century, this was the primary anthropological method used until the s. It is based around the central idea of positivism, a theory saying that theology and metaphysics are earlier imperfect modes of knowledge and that positive knowledge is based on natural phenomena with their properties and relations as verified by the scientific method.

The ideal positivist approach would occur with a physical scientist in a lab, producing concrete results. Anthropologists adapted this method to their own use by testing hypotheses in different cultures under similar conditions.

This method was very successful in recording previously unknown data about different peoples, but it was often objective facts about a way of life in which the people of the culture at question were regarded more as lab subjects than actual human beings. Eventually this method was adapted into the reflexive method, to better demonstrate the relationships that exist within communities and the anthropologists own interactions with the informants. The positivist approach requires the use of the scientific method.

A researcher makes an observation about a social behavior or condition, constructs a hypothesis as to the reason or outcome of the observation, tests the hypothesis and then analyzes the results. Spradley describes ethnography as different from deductive types of social research in that the five steps of ethnographic research: All five steps happen simultaneously p.

In his book, Spradley describes four types of ethnographic analysis that basically build on each other. The other kinds of analysis are taxonomic analysis, componential analysis, and theme analysis. These meanings are expressed through symbols, which can be words, but can also be nonverbal cues. However, because this book is about analyzing interviews, Spradley focuses on analyzing the spoken words of the participants.

He explains that words are symbols that represent some kind of meaning for an individual, and each symbol has three parts: Thus, the word computer can be a symbol. It refers to many things, including an individual's own personal computer. Thus, a computer is a kind of computer in the mind, or the idea of a computer, and this shows the relationship between the symbol computer and the referent an actual physical computer.

The category of computers is a domain that includes not only a laptop, but all the Dells, Toshibas, iMacs, and IBMs in the world. These all share the same relationship because they are all kinds of computers.

There are three elements to a domain. Second, there are included terms, which are all the types of computers just listed. When anthropologists complete a domain analysis, they are gaining an understanding of how people place objects within different domains. In other words how does a person, family, or culture categorize the world around them. This information can be gathered is several ways.

Strict inclusion "what is a Macbook, a computer , Domain analysis, and questioning the categorization are methods of domain analysis. Taxonomic Analysis is a search for the way that cultural domains are organised. Building upon the first type of analysis, this form of research is best defined as the classification of data in form x is a kind of y D'Andrade, Used largely for the organization and grouping of plant and animal species, the taxonomic analysis is not focused on the features of an organism but rather the variable genetic differences that define them.

Taxonomic Analysis usually involves drawing a graphical interpretation of the ways in which the individual participants move, form groups, and pattern the structure of a conversation. For example, scientists can refer to the common chimpanzee using the taxonomy pan troglodyte which is the ITIS report that has qualifications of all known mammals and make specific references to that species without fear of error in their classification and use of data.

The realization that knowledge about other people emerges out of people's relationships with and perceptions of each other. The changing of species over time. A demographically diverse group of people assembled to participate in a guided discussion about a particular thing before it is released. Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. From Wikibooks, open books for an open world.

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This is a major textbook in research methods for cultural anthropologists by a world-renowned scholar. The text reflects the significant changes that have taken place in the study of anthropology over the last decade, and includes many examples from real field projects.

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Methodologies and techniques of research, especially field study, in sociocultural anthropology.

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Ethnography is a core modern research method used in Anthropology as well as in other modern social sciences. Ethnography is the case study of one culture, subculture, or micro-culture made a the researcher immersing themself in said culture. Before ethnography, immersive research, the prevailing method was unilineal. Two research methods utilized in Cultural Anthropology are Participant Observation and Interviews or Questionnaires. Unlike other forms of research, in participant observation, the researcher can interact with the participants.

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This course examines anthropological fieldwork techniques, including interviewing and participant observation, as well as qualitative approaches to the analysis of cultural data. Topics include cross-cultural field techniques, research design, ethical dilemmas, and the difference between academic and applied research. Research projects are an integral part of this course. Methods in Cultural Anthropology. STUDY. PLAY. Fieldwork. Research carried out by cultural anthropologists among living peoples in other societies and among subcultures of our own society. Ethnography. Both a strategy of anthropological and its products, such as written account reflecting the views of the people and those of the.