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UGA / OTHER / ANTH 1102 / What is ethnography?

What is ethnography?

What is ethnography?


School: University of Georgia
Department: OTHER
Course: Intro to Anthropology
Professor: Joseph lanning
Term: Fall 2018
Tags: Anthro
Cost: 25
Name: ANTH 1102
Description: These notes cover much of what will be on the next exam!
Uploaded: 09/03/2018
5 Pages 3 Views 8 Unlocks

ANTH 1102 Lecture Notes

What is ethnography?

Tuesday, August 28

∙ Ethnography:  

o “What is ethnography?”- To attempt to grasp the native’s point of view, their relation to life and to realize their vision of their world. Provides a deep, cultural context so that people from outside can really understand what is going on.  

o Where is it done?

 Marketing firms, design agencies, national park service  (how different types of people make use of park services in order to better design them for people visiting), census  

bureau, healthcare sector (how different types of people  

are differentially engaging in the healthcare system),  

remote islands in the pacific.  

o Ethnographic methods

 Observation of people

∙ Need to be good observors become people don’t  

realize what they do, people aren’t always  

forthcoming and tend to dissemble what they do

Ethnographic methods

∙ Triangulating data that you collect; “who is collecting  We also discuss several other topics like mkt 360

the water, when do they do it, how long do these  

activities take”, “

∙ Behaviors

∙ Time allocation- frequency, duration, costs/benefits

∙ Social contacts

 Engaging with people

 Participant observation

o Ethnology

 Analyzing, comparing and contrasting different societies.  ∙ Is adolescence a human universal?  

∙ How do games and sport vary?

∙ Is incest a universal taboo? If you want to learn more check out servius tulius

∙ What is childhood like?

 Human Relations Area Files- promote understanding of  

cultural diversity and community in the past and present.  

 Example: Do all societies engage in practices that lead to  altered states of consciousness.  

∙ Yes, the HRAF files say yes.  

∙ Have been around for 100,000 years

∙ Three types: possession of spirits, soul leaving body,  


If you want to learn more check out cis 2334
If you want to learn more check out What are Transactional Leaders?

going on a journey

∙ Archaeology

o Since mid 19th century

o Reconstructing material remains

o Reconstructing human lifeways

o Explaining cultural processes

 Archeologists started trying to understand these belief  systems more recently  If you want to learn more check out ssh 105 ryerson

o Contextual archeology  

∙ Archeology concepts:

o Material remains

 Artifacts, features and other items such as plant and  animal remains that indicate human activity

 Ex. Bones and skulls  

 Artifacts

∙ Any object made, affected, used, or modified in some way by human beings

 Ecofacts

∙ Flora and fauna material; used, not made, by  

humans; Seeds, pollen, animal bone, insects, fish  

bones, and mollusks

∙ Example: animal bones show what people ate, when  the animals became domesticated, butchered for  

rituals, where the bones are across space

 Features

∙ Non-moveable parts of an archaeological site; a wall,  hearth, storage pit, or burial.  

∙ Example: looking at walls and how they stand

 Sites

∙ Any location that demonstrates past human  

activity ,as evidence by the presence of artifacts,  

features, ecofacts or other material remains.  

∙ Identified through remote sensing and construction  


o LiDAR- Light Detection and Ranging

 Can penetrate leaves and ground cover, while satellite  cannot.

 Can get down to the sub-centimeter level and penetrate  into the soil, so sub soil readings.

ANTH 1102  

Thursday, August 30

How do you see the world?  

∙ Artifacts, eco-facts, features, and sites are material remains within  archeology concepts.  Don't forget about the age old question of aldononose

∙ What artifacts would scientists find of ours a century from now? o Furniture, technological remains, jewelry, textbooks

o These artifacts will tell the researchers about our trading, social  stratification, the complexity of our society when it comes to  intelligence from developing electronics.  

∙ What features?

o With dorms, which are made from cinderblocks, could be  compared to other institutional buildings, like prisons.  

o Social aspects of how we live  

∙ Fieldwork strategies

o Systematic survey- give a regional perspective; looking over  large areas; surficial areas. Can be accomplished by walking or  remote sensing.  

 Can tell us about settlement patterns and relationships

 Looking over the material remains and making note of  


 Communities don’t live in isolation; we need to understand  not only what happens in one site, but the relationship  

between communities.  

 Topography or contour mapping to help understand the  sites

∙ Where people might have settled when it comes to  


∙ Tells us about post-depositional movement: the idea  

that we have deposited our remains in a particular  

area, but over centuries, they may have moved due  

to natural occurrences like landslides.  

 Excavations: remove strata to look intensively at site

∙ super expensive and time consuming

∙ can’t undertake it lightly; need to know what you are  

looking for and why you are at a certain place to get  

the funding you need.  

∙ Dating Sites

o Relative dating: establishes a time frame in relation to another  object.

 “older than” “younger than” “before” “after”

 Law of Superposition- things that are deeper down, tend to  be older because older layers are at the bottom

∙ In general it holds true, but certain situations or  

circumstances could bring down older strata on top  

of another artifact.  

 Index fossil- widespread organism but restricted in time to  a brief existence

∙ Associate changes within a species with a certain  

time frame  

∙ Ex. Zooarchaeology

o Absolute dating: more precise, but not absolute dates.  

 More expensive

 Range of years with a certain level or accuracy and  


∙ Estimate of dates within a range of error.  

 Tree Ring Chronologies 

∙ Taking core from tree and look at the rings, which are

responsive to environmental conditions.  

∙ Can match up the overlap of the years based on the  

quality of the environment.  

 Radiometric techniques- more details can be found in  


∙ Carbon-14: dates organic material; recent remains  


∙ Potassium Argon: inorganic substances; older  

remains (>500,000)

∙ Main Point: these techniques can be used, but only in

the right context.  

∙ Human Remains: who owns what?

o Who has/had rights to the remains? What are the ethics in  anthropology?

o Will discuss at a later date.

Part 2: What is culture? 

∙ Culture: sets of learned behaviors and ideas that human beings acquire as members of society, together with material artifacts and structures  that human beings create and use.  

o Key concept: Learned behaviors 

o Everyone is part of a culture

∙ Culture defines:

o What we think of as natural and moral, which are both learned.  Natural- values, dress, manners roles

∙ Ex. Personal space; Europeans are more affectionate  

than Americans

 Moral- norms, behaviors

o Inclusion and Exclusion

∙ What makes us uniquely human?

o Does culture make us uniquely human?


∙ What was the purpose of the Nacirema article?

o To show how other cultures are different than ours; whether a  behavior is in your culture or not, it is probably in someone  else’s.  

o People look at Americans and think we are different.  ∙ What did you learn about the Nacirema? Yourself?  

∙ Describe the shrine? Temple?

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