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ERIC Number: ED170359
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Jan
Pages: 17
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Anthropological Fieldwork: Comments on its Values and Limitations.
Wax, Murray; Wax, Rosalie
Anthropological fieldwork is characterized as the most human methodology of the social sciences. Fieldwork brings the researcher into intimate relationships with the host people and facilitates perception of the unexpected activity of general social processes and understanding the initially perplexing conduct of the hosts. Fieldwork also has natural limitations. It is a methodology most easily used by either an individual or a small nuclear family and is most easily applied to small natural wholes, such as isolated groups. During the past generation there have been attempts to adapt fieldwork to the study of institutions or systems within modern urban society, using large research teams, with complex divisions of labor. Findings, particularly in relationship to research on schools, are encouraging, but reveal significant methodological difficulties. It is too early to tell how successful researchers will be in adapting the fundamental principles of fieldwork to the study of social entities in modern urban society. Because of the human values which it exemplifies the human quality of the interaction, fieldwork will continue to be an important member of the system of techniques employed by social scientists. (Author/MH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (63rd, San Francisco, California, April 8-12, 1979)