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by: Mariam Nagi

Fieldwork ANT102

Mariam Nagi
University of Toronto

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Lecture notes.
Sociocultural/Linguistic Anthropology
Todd Sanders
Class Notes
25 ?




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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Mariam Nagi on Sunday September 25, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ANT102 at University of Toronto taught by Todd Sanders in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 7 views. For similar materials see Sociocultural/Linguistic Anthropology in Anthropology at University of Toronto.

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Date Created: 09/25/16
ANT102 Fieldwork How do we go about studying what we do? Ethnography: As a noun, it means ‘the outcome of the anthropologist’s work’. As a verb, it is a method – fieldwork. To do ethnography is to do fieldwork. Ethnography is not written about in anthropology. There are different ways of studying different things; the fieldwork varies from one anthropologist to another. The main goal of ethnography is to get a behind-the-scenes look at what it being studied. Ethnography follows a simple outline; this is the basic frame that all anthropologists follow, though the details for each may vary: 1. Choose a field-site. Where will you go? Why will you go there? What are you planning to study in that particular field? 2. Prepare for the field. What kind of questions will you ask? How will you go about getting the information you need? Also, preparing a proposal is crucial; you have to state where you’re going and for what purpose, and what you hope to achieve so that your field project can be approved. Apply for funding. If applicable, learn the language of the area you’re planning to go to. And get a map! 3. Getting there. Arrange for transportation. Get research clearance and a residence permit, as well as more maps. Have a backup location just in case. What do anthropologists do on the field? 1. Survey the site. Draw a map, ask questions, etc. 2. Meet people. Talk to them, tell them who you are, why you’re there, learn about them. 3. Find a house, a place to stay. 4. Try to learn more of the language, if necessary. 5. Participant observation: One of the main methodological tools anthropologists use to gather data about the world they’re trying to understand. They get involved in the local activities of the community they’re in, hence both participating and observing at the same time. Problems in field research: There are drawbacks in this kind of research – one of the main problems being that it’s simply boring. Another issue is that there is no escape from everyday gossip if you happen to be studying a small-world community, which can also lead to claustrophobia. There is also the issue of people sometimes not wanting to speak to you or answer your questions. After the field work:  Analyze data, which is usually long diary/journal entries.  Write articles and books.  Attend conferences, present your book/article for publication.  Teach. A method of conveying anthropology understanding.


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