Doing Ethnography: Cultural Anthropology Research Methods Part IV The Problem of Subjectivity: Things are Not as They Seem The people’s own understanding of their culture and the general rules they share The extent to which people believe they are observing those rules The behavior that can be directly observed Ethnographic Reflexivity: Acknowledging the Researcher as Subject Challenges in validating ethnographic research – insufficient funding – logistical difficulties in reaching the site – problems in obtaining permits – and the fact that cultural and environmental conditions often change Putting It All Together: Completing an Ethnography Ethnographies are, typically, written descriptions that the anthropologist has broken down into chapters with specific topics. Digital ethnography is the use of digital technologies for the collection, analysis, and representation of ethnographic data. Ethnohistory: A kind of historical ethnography that studies cultures of the recent past through oral histories, the accounts of explorers, missionaries, and traders, and through analysis of records such as land titles, birth and death records, and other archival materials. Ethnology: From Description to Interpretation and Theory Traditionally the aim of anthropological fieldwork was the description of a total cultural pattern. Today, however, many anthropologists go into the field with the aim of focusing on specific theoretical problems. Human Relations Area File: The goal of the cross-cultural comparison is to test generalizations about culture, using statistical correlations of culture traits based on a wide survey of several different cultures. Human Relations Area File (HRAF). The HRAF is a vast collection of cross-indexed ethnographic and archaeological data catalogued by cultural characteristics and geographic locations. Anthropology’s Theoretical Perspectives: A Brief Overview Idealist perspective is Materialist perspective a theoretical approach is a theoretical stressing the primacy approach stressing of superstructure in the primacy of cultural research and infrastructure in analysis. cultural research and analysis. – ethnoscience – structuralism – postmodernism – Marxism – cultural ecology – cultural materialism Informed Consent Formal, recorded agreement to participate in research AAA Code of Ethics (central maxim): – “Anthropological researchers must do everything in their power to ensure that their research does not harm the safety, dignity, or privacy of the people with whom they work, conduct research, or perform other professional activities."