Research methodology in anthropology

Methods[ edit ] Modern cultural anthropology has its origins in, and developed in reaction to, 19th century ethnologywhich involves the organized comparison of human societies.

Research methodology in anthropology

What may be considered good etiquette in one culture may be considered an offensive gesture in another. As this occurs constantly, cultures push each other to change. The biological variations between humans are summarized in the ideas of natural selection and evolution.

Human variation is based on the principle that there is variation in traits that result for recombination of genes from sexual reproduction. These traits are variable and can be passed down generation to generation. An example of human variation can be found with a cline.

A cline is a genetic variation between populations of species that are isolated in their reproduction such as skin color variation in humans.

Because of pigmentation characteristics within the human population, a system and term emerged to categorize the differing variations. This category is recognized as race.

Populations of humans in equatorial regions have selective advantages as a result of their darker skin pigmentation, whereas populations in more northern environments have less selective pressure to evolve darker pigmentation and have lighter skin.

Research Methods - Learn and Teach

Other clines include differences in stature and hair type. Origins of Ethnography[ edit ] The route of first voyage of Columbus in the Caribbean. Ethnography is a core modern research method used in Anthropology as well as in other modern social sciences. Ethnography is the case study of one culture, subculture, or micro-culture made a the researcher immersing themself in said culture.

Before ethnography, immersive research, the prevailing method was unilineal. This led to colonizers feeling able to set the rules for what is a "modern" or "primitive" culture and used these self-made justifications in order to rule over new colonies in the name of advancement for their people.

This view came into question with Anthropologists like Franz Boas, offering the multilinear model for cultural evolution we have today. This model closer, reflects the realities of different cultures across the world advancing in separate ways and highlights the impossibility to call one culture "primitive" in relation to another.

These cultures do not evolve from one another but evolved separately from each other into other cultures. A large part of the issue with early Anthropology was a reliance on second-party information while lacking any first-hand research of cultures.

Armchair Anthropologists usually refers to late 19th century and early 20th century scholars coming to conclusions without going through the usual anthropology motions—fieldwork or lab work.

They would then create wild theories based on these accounts. This led to a high degree of bias against these cultures, more so than firsthand research, and were not scientific in the way Anthropology is today. These biases turned into stereotypes which are still prevalent today.

This form of research drove much of the colonial primitive culture narrative and necessitated the adaptation of Ethnography. Ethnography, or the immersive method of case study research, has to lead to the dispelling of rumor and a much deeper understanding of cultures through great effort.

To begin, he clearly states his bias, being a male researcher and dealing primarily with the males of that society due to a highly gendered culture found there. He explains with great care that he is not searching for what men "do" but what they "say and do to be men.

He had limitations both being an outsider and being male, only being able to see how one-half of these people portrayed their culture and even then through the lens of an outsider with his own biases, stated as clearly as possible within the paper. This is the value of Ethnography, it allows researchers to further understand their research while remaining as unbiased as possible, highlighting weaknesses and need for further research from people of different genders and backgrounds.

An Ethnographic Analogy is a method for inferring the use or meaning of an ancient site or artifact based on observations and accounts of its use by living people.

Here we see an old pick, not much different from those used today We can infer the use of an ancient tool by seeing how similar-looking tools are used in existing or recent societies.

By analogy we can hypothesize the same use for the old tool. Fieldwork Methods[ edit ] In anthropology there are several types of fieldwork methods that are used while conducting research. Below we will go more into depth with several fieldwork methods that are used.

Observational Methods[ edit ] The observational method is viewed as the least invasive method where the anthropologist minimally integrates themselves into the society they are studying and gathers data through verbal communication while attempting to remain non-intrusive of the culture.

Research Methods in Anthropology, Postgraduate Curse at SOAS, University of London

This group of methods focuses on community interaction through language. It usually entails many open ended interviews with participants who are members of a group being studied.Participant observation, long considered the trademark method in cultural anthropology, is treated as a way to (a) gather data that can be used directly to address a research question, (b) gather contextual.

Anthropology is known as a holistic science, incorporating the knowledge and skills of fields as diverse as language arts, biology, chemistry, history, economics, visual and performing arts, statistics, psychology, epidemiology, and more.

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Research methodology in anthropology

Russell Bernard's Research Methods in Anthropology, Sixth Edition, is the standard for learning about the range of methods for collecting and analyzing qualitative and quantitative data about human thought and human behavior. In the first section of the book, students learn the elements of research design, including how to choose a research topic, how to develop research questions and Author: H.

Russell Bernard. Introduction to anthropological research methodology and techniques in ethnology biological anthropology and archaeology. 'Research Methods in Anthropology' is the standard textbook for methods courses in anthropology. This fourth edition contains all the useful methodological advice of previous editions and more: additional material on text analysis, an expanded section on sampling in field settings, and dozens of new /5.

H. Russell Bernard is director of the Institute for Social Science Research at Arizona State University, professor emeritus of anthropology at the University of Florida, and a Author: H.

Russell Bernard.

Cultural anthropology - Wikipedia