Anthropology - Paper 10

Topics: Anthropology, The Culture, Participant observation Pages: 2 (690 words) Published: April 24, 2008

The way that Napoleon Chagnon and Claire Sterk entered their fieldworks was very challenging. For example, for Napoleon Chagnon, even though he entered his fieldwork with some one who had already spent sometime with the Yanomamo, was still very different. The reason was the fact that he had entered a new world, in which he did not know anyone, did not speak the language and almost everything was different from what he had expected. On the other had for Claire Sterk, entering the fieldwork was also difficult but not as much as it was for Chagnon in my opinion. I say this because even though Sterk had difficulties getting in to the fieldwork, it was at least people whom she knew the language, culture etc. It did how ever take Sterk longer to enter the field work compare to Chagnon, because she needed the prostitutes and pimps approval in order to take her next steps. Both Chagnon and Sterk had to try very hard in getting research participants. The reason was the fact that they needed to build up a trusting rapport with the key consultants and cultural consultants. This process was very complicated for both of them, but in different ways. For Chagnon the fact that he couldn’t speak the language at the beginning, going in to a whole different world, learning every aspect of the participant’s life, culture, genealogy, coming up to an informed consent and so on. These factors caused Chagnon to face a cultural shock since there was too much stuff for him to learn and be adjusted to. Sterk also had difficulties in getting participants, building up trust, being out very late at night etc. So finally both Chagnon and Sterk gain access to participants, but once again in different ways. For example, Chagnon starts trading some of his goods with Yanomamo so that he gets involved more with people and gets some genealogical information or other sort of information that he wants. He also establishes close relationship with the people who are the leaders, know...
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