Conversations I Wish I Had

Anthropology Fieldwork: A Short Comment

Harris-Jones Anthropology

Today, many anthropologists conduct fieldwork by travelling to (if necessary) a chosen destination to live with people and conduct ethnographic research by practicing ‘participant observation’; staying in area long enough to be considered ‘natural’ by the natives (Eriksen, 1995, pp.27). Bronislaw Malinowski is regarded as a founder of modern anthropology for his promotion (not necessarily creation) of these ‘intensive personal fieldwork’ methods that “revolutionized the content and practice of anthropology” (Wax, 1972, pp.2-3). Herealised that one could not create an accurate picture of peoples’ lives from the comfort of an armchair, that one must physically live and observe people to truly understand them, which changed the face of anthropology completely. In light of this, I will be looking at what the point is of carrying out such fieldwork.

The way in which fieldwork is carried out obviously differs between anthropologists, due to differences in working style, location, risks, and many more factors…

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This entry was posted on March 8, 2015 by .
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