Fieldwork: Culture and Anthropologists

Topics: Culture, Sociology, Anthropology Pages: 2 (603 words) Published: November 12, 2010
The problems that faced by anthropologists in the fieldwork are adaptation to new culture, maintain objectivism and get access to all information from their subjects. Adaptation to new culture is hard, since they have to stay for a period of time and try to live in the way their subjects’ do. Adaptation that done by anthropologists is not only adapt new lifestyle, but also learning their cultural norms and language in order to be accepeted by their subjects as a part of them, not only as a foreigner. For instance, M. N. Srinivas was got disapproval for shaving before bath since in that community, people are shaving after bath (Srinivas, 2002). However, by adapting the culture, anthropologists not only gain knowledge about how the culture is, but they will have better understanding on the culture. Knowing why do people in certain culture do certain activity, how the culture has impacted the people on that community and the historical of the culture as well. On top of that, a better understanding of the culture may assist the anthropologists to produce an unbiased ethnography by avoiding ethnocentrism. Having different cultures, people tend to make a comparison among the culture. It could be inevitable when living with people with different cultures in which values, norms and behavioural acceptance are in different manner. This objectivism is needed when anthropologists faced problem with what they observe. Remain objective could be a bit hard when the anthropologists have an emotional involvement on problems that their subjects’ face. For example, when Claire did the observation on prostitutes lifestyle and have emotional pressure, at some point she need to out from the field, so that her objectivism is remain stable (Sterk, 2009). Other than avoiding ethnocentrism, maintaining objectivism is also required to build a good relationship with their subjects. By the example on what Claire done, the thing that can be learned is anthropologists should not interfere too...
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