Get Started Conducting Fieldwork

Conducting Fieldwork – Discussion Board #2



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Learning Objective: How Do Anthropologists Get Started Conducting Fieldwork?

man farming

You don’t need to go to a remote country to use the skills of an anthropologist; in fact, there are different cultures all around you at this very moment. College campuses include a huge variety of cultures, all of which can be studied by means of ethnographic fieldwork. Student organizations such as fraternities and sororities, and religious and ethnic groups, can be considered cultures.

This should get you thinking about your ethnography projects!



1. What is the emic point of view?

2. What is the etic point of view?

3. Write a plan for conducting ethnographic fieldwork within your own community. What culture, other than your own, would you study? What strategies would you employ in your fieldwork? What kinds of analysis would be appropriate for the data you have collected? Consider your fieldwork carefully, including what effect it might have on you. Post your written proposal for fieldwork to your class’s online discussion board and ask for feedback about how it could be altered or improved. How would you approach it using the emic and etic points of view?


For full credit respond to at least two other post.

All posts made to each Lesson discussion are scored according to the following criteria:

· 0 points: no participation, no attempt to begin a discussion, or respond to a classmate.

· .5 – 5.75 point (F): varying degrees of failure; attempt to participate is not sincere; does not demonstrate much or any preparation; student clearly unwilling to participate or prepare; posts do not address the topic or engage peer in discussion; and/or post is incomprehensible due to grammar/spelling/syntax errors!

· 6 – 6.75 points (D): attempt does not demonstrate comprehension of material or full preparation for the discussion, or does not address the discussion topic in a meaningful way, and/or post is very difficult to understand, containing grammar/spelling/syntax errors!

· 7 – 7.75 points (C): statements indicate a willingness to participate but do not indicate full preparation or full comprehension, or may not address the discussion topic fully and/or post is somewhat difficult to follow, containing grammar/spelling/syntax errors.

· 8 – 8.75 points (B): statements indicate student willing and prepared for discussion, but maybe lacking a complete understanding of concepts or complete coverage of discussion topic, and/or post contains some grammar/spelling/syntax errors. They have also responded to at least 2 other post

· 9-10 points (A): student’s enthusiastic participation indicates preparation, comprehension and complete understanding of concepts, has complete and accurate coverage of the discussion topic and is free of grammar/spelling/syntax errors. They have also responded to at least 2 other post.



This is my discussion :

An emic point of view is a perspective where an issue is analyzed and handled from a cultural perspective. This is where a culture has a way of perceiving issues like gender, environment conservation or even agriculture among other issues. The people from that specific culture are likely to make use of emic point of view to argue for or against an issue.


On the other hand, an etic point of view is a situation where culture of a specific group of people is viewed by a foreigner from the foreigners’ cultural perspective. This is to mean that in etic point of view, the person making the perspective is not familiar with the culture and hence is using his/her culture to view a different or new culture. For instance; an Asian would visit an African country and view the African culture from an Asian perspective.


Conducting an ethnographic fieldwork is an interesting thing and in my case I would research about the African American since it is my culture but I can extend to the Chinese Americans more so because they have increased in number in the United States. I would use observation and interviews to conduct the study. For the analysis, I would information available in different reliable sources to compare with data collected. The same data I would forward to a professional to have the data reviewed and determined in regards to accuracy and validity.




And here’s some students discussion, please write a comment to these two.

Thanks .


Sandra Hanna


Emic perspective refers to the insider’s perspective of the culture being studied from the perspective of the insider. The etic point of view refers to the perspective of an outside observer who is studying the culture from an outside viewpoint.

I would love to learn more about Coptic Orthodox Christian. Although I am married to an Egyptian, I feel as if I haven’t learned anything about them as much as I should, though I am fairly well versed in their culture. The first thing I would do would be to spend more time at the church talking to people who were born there, since I feel like that will help me to get a better understanding of their religion in that country. Despite the fact that there might be some language barriers since they only speak a little bit of English, I will try to learn more Arabic to be able to communicate better.

Some of my questions would be..

What is the main difference between Coptic Orthodox Christian and just Christian?

What are your beliefs?

What are some of the Holliday’s you are not allowed to celebrate as a Coptic Orthodox Christian?

Do you welcome anyone from another religion?

I believe that this would be a wonderful opportunity for me to gain a deeper understanding of the Coptic Orthodox Christian Church as well as for other people to gain a deeper understanding of other cultures by conducting research on this topic. In order to determine whether or not ethnographic fieldwork will have an impact on my own beliefs, I will think about this as I begin the ethnographic fieldwork process.




Elizabeth Nunez


The emic point of view we can call it interior, while the etic point of view is exterior. That’s basically what you mean when you talk about the emic and etic points of view. An emic perspective happens when you are describing something, a reality, a point of view of someone, or a behavior of some belonging culture. While an etic perspective can describe all of the above but from the outside, from a foreign culture, different from the one being described.

It would be incredible and interesting if my project is from a country, Spain because I have always considered that it is a place that has a lot to offer for people who do not know it, it is a country that has many traditions and history, in addition to its structure so awesome.

To carry out this project I will do research on my own, also, I have an aunt who has been living in Spain for a while, I hope to have the opportunity to interview her because sometimes the time change is not favorable, and she also works a lot. But my intention is to learn more about its history, and the traditions they have in terms of food, dances, and celebrations, among other things. I would ask things like, How is life in Spain? The influence that Spanish culture has had on her? Any differences or similarities between her culture and Spanish culture?

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