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Cultures

Cultures have been studied and written about for over a century.There are many types of cultures and a technique called ethnography enables us to step into any culture we decide to study.It describes a culture from the natives' point of view.Anthropology is based on the findings of ethnography fieldwork.It has brought back many important findings.
According to Malinowski, ethnography is meant "to grasp the natives point of view, his relation to life, to realize his vision of his world".We, the fieldworker, have to get inside the culture and interact.Through the fieldwork we learn from people.These people are the subjects of study and can also sometimes become informants.Informants are often friends the fieldworkers make during his study.They give the fieldworker useful knowledge in how the culture works and sometimes what needs to be done to survive.By interacting in their native ways it is easier to get inside their heads.Feeling what they do and being able to be accepted will ultimately give you the best views.Spradley believes this to be the goal of ethnography.
In order to find more about a way of life, ethnographers must become students.We cannot make another culture adapt to us.The environment makes up a lot of what people are.This is why the ethnographer must become part of the environment.They have to find the insiders view, what they feel towards their relatives and friends.In order to do this they have to become one with what they study.This is harder than it seems since you have to completely clear your mind with what you know and perceive their culture to be and your own.There should be no outside influence.They have to interact as if they are part of the culture.This process is called participant observation.They are expected to participate in the rituals and ceremonies in the culture that they are studying.While interacting, at the same time, they have to …

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