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Note that you can view and download my detailed guide to ethnography and ethnographic fieldwork , including lists of questions and tips for fieldwork notes. If you would like to use and cite my work on this subject, this is the best way to go.
Ethnographers generate understandings of culture through representation of what we call an emic perspective, or what might be described as the “‘insider’s point of view.” The emphasis in this representation is thus on allowing critical categories and meanings to emerge from the ethnographic encounter rather than imposing these from existing models. An etic perspective, by contrast, refers to a more distant, analytical orientation to experience.
What exactly do we mean when we say the West ? We generally refer to a geographic area the core of which is Europe and North America after the sixteenth century. Sometimes we add Australia and less frequently Latin America. (Latin America is seen to be some kind of a mixture of the West and the Nonwest.) Usually, we include the Classical Antiquity of Greece and Rome, but not the European Middle Ages, or ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. The epicenter of the West is actually even smaller, being limited to the civilization of western Europe and some of the U.S.
Modernity sowed the seeds of globalization, and globalization has resulted in the emergence of the Nonwest away from the actual and ideological domination of the West. For example, today, China s relation to Africa is as, or more important than, it s relation to the West; and the world watches more Indian Bollywood films than American Hollywood ones. Nonwesterners are relating to each other without the mediation of the West.
The following list comprises references in the text of this website. Additional resources can be found on the next page of annotated recommended readings. It is important to keep in mind that the citations listed were chosen as part of a study about an intercultural episode of personhood, voice and code.
Another place students should look is a very useful bibliography about the Ethnography of Communication came out in 1986: Philipsen, G. & Carbaugh, D. (1986). A bibliography of fieldwork in the ethnography of communication. Language and Society , 15, 387-398.
Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of adopting an ethnographic approach to the study of society. Answer with detailed reference to at least one ethnographic study.
- the ethnographic approach to the study of society has its advantages and disadvantages; some of the disadvantages can be avoided if the researcher is made aware of the risk of encountering them