Ethnography

Ethnography is Greek “grapho” meaning to write. Anthropologists used ethnography to write about their culture they are studying. They use ethnography in a way that reflects the meanings of the culture they have studied. When writing anthropologist should explain their background to give the reader a understanding of who the writer is. By explaining who the writer is, it gives the reader the ability to make their own judgments and understandings.

Early writings of Ethnography wrote in a etic way. Anthropologists would look at the culture they were studying as a observer and not attempt to partake in the culture to better understand the ritual or custom. Instead anthropologists attempted to explain the culture by relating their observations to their own culture. If their observations did not compare to anything they could relate to, the anthropologists would call the people a savage or primitive people.

Anthropologists now are writing in a emic way. They study the culture by experiencing the rituals and customs first hand. They attempt to understand why the culture has such customs or does certain rituals. Most of the time they do not attempt to compare it to their own culture, rather they explain the customs and rituals the way the people do to their families.

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