Anthropology - Paper 13

Topics: Culture, Crack house, Anthropology Pages: 2 (602 words) Published: March 21, 2005
Anthropology proves to be satisfying and
intellectually fulfilling to many in the field.
However, there are also many challenges and bumps in
the road along the way. Napolean A. Chagnon and
Claire Sterk faced many of these challenges
During his fieldwork with the Yanomamo, Chagnon faced
many challenges interacting with the natives. Chagnon
could not practically communicate with the people
until about six months after he arrived. He notes ?
the hardest thing to live with was the incessant,
passioned, and often aggressive demands they would
make.? An example of this is the natives threatening
with a shout such as; ?If you don?t take me with you
on your next boat trip to Widokalyateri, I?ll chop a
hole in your canoe!? While trying to collect
genealogies, Chagnon found it very frustrating and
commented ? I could not have deliberately picked a
more difficult people to work with in this regard.?
This was because he first tried to use the names they
called each other, not knowing that the names they
called each other were completely ambiguous and didn?t
mean anything. He then later found out , after
collecting all the genealogical information, that only
the living members were accurate and the deceased
listed were mostly fake. He had to start all over. (
Chagnon 5)
Sterk did a different type of study on prostitution
and how it went on during a time when AIDS was a major
problem. This type of fieldwork is ethnographic
fieldwork. Sterk had to get established in rough
neighborhoods, crack houses, and sidewalks of busy
streets. She first and foremost had to locate her
samples by asking local taxi-drivers, bartenders , and
AIDS clinics. Developing a relationship and trust
with women who had never had any trustworthy people in
their lives was quite challenging as well. Sterk was
once followed home by one of the woman?s pimps and his
friends, and was jumped. The woman admitted to Sterk
over a year later that...
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