The Observation The video displays a nondescript conference room with grey walls, blue carpeting, a brown conference table, and large leather chairs....
The questions chosen to focus my observation concerned participant roles: “Are meeting participants playing/fulfilling distinct roles throughout the meeting?” Since no guideline and/or information were available concerning the content or purpose of the meeting, I decided to concentrate on the participants rather than other aspects.
Much hangs on how we depict the practices of smaller-scale and non-Western societies. Anthropologists are divided over whether they “have” religion, and indeed whether it is the sort of thing one has and what its boundaries are. This indicates a Rylian question of the sort addressed above. But additionally, it could be dangerous for the health of a community for an outside expert to claim that they have no religion or that what they have is no religion. This has left such people ripe for the disdain of their neighbours and in need of conversion and possibly conquest. The fact that most such people do accede to one of the so-called world religions is a symptom of the problem. Perhaps they do so in part in order to participate or be seen to participate in religion at all, that is to participate in what is precisely a bounded object, recognized by the state and seen by the world to be a religion. Participation in a transnational religion gets recognized as a sign of civilization, modernity, or citizenship in the global community—which, curiously, has become defined increasingly by means of religion, rather than as Freud, Marx, and a number of present day Darwinists suppose, by getting beyond it.
Writing an essay in anthropology is very similar to writing an argumentative essay in other disciplines. In most cases, the only difference is in the kind of evidence you use to support your argument. In an English essay, you might use textual evidence from novels or literary theory to support your claims; in an anthropology essay, you will most often be using textual evidence from ethnographies, artifactual evidence, or other support from anthropological theories to make your arguments.
[tags: Childhood Observation Essays]
Remember that “evidence” is not something that exists on its own. A fact or observation becomes evidence when it is clearly connected to an argument in order to support that argument. It is your job to help your reader understand the connection you are making: you must clearly explain why statements x, y, and z are evidence for a particular claim and why they are important to your overall claim or position.
[tags: Participant Observation]
One current articulation of the recurrent epistemological fault line of anthropology is that between the sceptical genealogical observer and the complicit, but possibly critical, hermeneutic participant (i.e., the person who accepts Gadamer’s  arguments that we are all located within traditions and that all traditions entail their prejudices) who accepts that anthropology shares horizons with both religion and science or secularism. Between these positions anthropologists must construct both their research programs and their politics. When they are understood as incommensurable and hence co-present rather than binary and mutually exclusive, the co-existence of scepticism and conviction or objectivism and relativism gives rise to a state that, for at least this informant, must be described as a kind of irony. This is irony understood in the sense of the dramaturgical or novelistic polyphony of Kenneth Burke (1945) or Mikhail Bakhtin (1981) and the Socratic/Platonic acknowledgment, so well elaborated by Alexander Nehamas (1998), that there are limits to what one knows, an irony that I find manifest also in, if not constitutive of, the spirit possession that I study and that I am at some pains to know whether and on what criteria to classify as religion.
[tags: Observation Essay, Descriptive Essay]
Anthropology’s central opposition finds its practical expression in the common injunction for ethnographic research, namely participant observation. The issue is the relationship of ethnographic observation to participation, or to borrow (after Geertz) terms from psychoanalysis (which, in this respect is similar to anthropology), experience-near to experience distant analysis, as well as the effects of transference and counter-transference. With respect to religion this has been expressed in the debate over whether, in order to understand the religious ideas and practices of a particular group (and hence to identify them as religious), it is necessary in some sense to share them, that is, maximally, to experience, believe, or accept them, or minimally, to understand oneself as ‘religious,’ whether in sensibility, practice, or belief–or whether, to the contrary, it is better to situate oneself firmly outside religion (Firth 1996). And if one were to do the latter, what else would one call one’s location but secular? More generally, insofar as anthropology is characterized by the ascetic calling or stance of understanding natives without oneself going native, how is the anthropologist to conceptualize her relationship to her subject of study (and articulate her research to the rest of her life)?