By H. Russell Bernard, Clarence C. Gravlee
This instruction manual of anthropology tools defines and describes anthropological fieldwork in perform. The authors study ancient tools, surveys, linguistic tools, comparative learn, social intervention, and visible anthropology.
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Additional resources for Handbook of Methods in Cultural Anthropology
Indb 9 9/5/12 12:41 PM 10 C HAP T E R 1 why men drank and the benefits of drinking. It was only later, once they had had a conversation or two with the key informants, that they mentioned the “real” focus of the study, alcohol’s relationship to sexual practices and HIV, both sensitive topics in that type of community. In the following example we illustrate a script that these same field researchers used to introduce themselves that did mention in general the topic of the study, which was alcohol’s association with sexual risk behavior.
It is difficult to judge how many times an ethnographer should appear at community events, both private and public, in order to be viewed as a trusted member of the community. It is best to rely on local actions and responses and the reflective comments of key informants as a guide to appropriate action. When community residents turn to the ethnographer for advice, help, consultation, discussion, or dinner, or when community members begin to tease an ethnographer, one can be sure that an important relationship is being established.
While these individuals may be most receptive and forthcoming initially, they may be self-serving, be inclined to have specific biases, and also be the least well informed. Members of the group who are more reserved, ask more probing questions about the researcher’s work, and are initially more reluctant to offer information may later become important members of the researcher’s network of contacts. Any researcher who is perceived to be an “outsider” or who becomes the observer in his or her own social group finds that gaining access to important social events and settings is a complex process.
Handbook of Methods in Cultural Anthropology by H. Russell Bernard, Clarence C. Gravlee