Participate Observation: Understanding Of Life And Culture

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Chapter 1 provides a definition and discussion of participate observation. This chapter explores the research method of participate observation, which involves a researcher who is interested in a certain group of people taking part in their daily activities, rituals and events in order to gain a holistic understanding of their life and culture. The chapter mentions that Malinowski is responsible for developing the method of participate observation. Although some anthropologist such as Tedlock suggests that Malinowski simply made the fieldwork method into a theory. Moreover, this chapter explores other ethnographers who practiced participant observation by living in the communities, taking part in daily life, conversing and recording their observations. I found it interesting that Crushing was criticized for having “gone native” because he was too involved with Zuni culture. Since participate observation entails immersing oneself into a culture and taking part in everyday life at what rate or level is “going native” measured? I believe the more involved one is with a culture the better they are able to understand that culture. Chapter 2 discusses the degree …show more content…
Boas discusses the evolutionary hypothesis which involves one single general line of development. He also mentions diffusion which surrounds the notion that culture traits do not change over time but in fact spread from a certain area to the rest of the world, the shared culture trait has a common origin. Boas rejects the evolutionary hypothesis as he states that each group has its own unique history which depends on their social group and foreign influence. I found that if we study culture through the evolutionary hypothesis we are assuming cultures develop in a straight line and thus only go forward. From this perspective I believe it subjects the Western worlds to seem more “evolved” and thus better then the non-Western worlds, which I believe is

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