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Write an essay comparing the merits of fieldwork and armchair theory, with reference to the anthropologist’s rite of passage into fieldwork. Incorporate at least 3 ethnographies into your discussion.

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Write an essay comparing the merits of fieldwork and armchair theory, with reference to the anthropologist’s rite of passage into fieldwork. Incorporate at least 3 ethnographies into your discussion.

Category: Evaluation Essay

Subcategory: Anthropology

Level: Masters

Pages: 18

Words: 4950

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Malinowski’s fieldwork among the TrobriandersResearch methods in cultural anthropology are different in various ways compared to those used in the 19th century. Most anthropologists that exist today collect intensive information through fieldwork method. Fieldwork method involves going to the field of interest, so as to learn the cultural practices and beliefs of a given group of people through direct observation. With the used of fieldwork method, the anthropologist will have a long-term interaction and experience with a given group of people and their way of life. With the use of this method, an anthropologist will have the opportunity to immerse him or herself in a given culture and observe the cultural activities of the native people
Fieldwork is such an effective way of gathering information about a culture by involving themselves in the culture; the anthropologists can study the culture’s functions while having informants to clarify to them the significance of the different rituals and beliefs. The worth of fieldwork is its ability to get a very in-depth and close analysis of culture. This allows the anthropologist to experience more fully the culture and its rituals and traditions. However, armchair anthropology was not a passive pursuit, with the minimal analytical reflection that simply analyzed the materials of the past anthropologists. It was also detached from the activities of informants who were collecting and …

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