ERIC Number: ED233844
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Ethnographic Description As a Tool in Humanistic Geography: A Native American Case Study.
Winchell, Dick G.
Humanistic geography is similar to ethnography in that both are concerned with describing actions and events in terms of their meaning to those experiencing them; humanistic geography is particularly concerned with understanding subjective social space: space as perceived by members of particular human groups. A humanistic geography case study, describing two taxonomical structures of spatial activity, basketball and "staying places," is derived from field work using ethnographic methods in a Yavapai reservation community near Phoenix. The recreation area in the community includes a basketball court which serves as the central element of social space for Yavapai youth, as activity there involves much more than basketball; the court is the focal point of information about activities, spatial movement of people, and overall community awareness. "Staying places," a concept alien to Anglo culture, describes a wide range of options for an individual's place of residence, not necessarily his "home," and may include places on-reservation, on other reservations, or in non-Indian communities. Ethnographic analysis of an individual's "staying places" and reasons for moving between them reveals an associational network in which individuals can exhibit considerable spatial mobility while maintaining a cultural and community sense of stability. (MH)
Descriptors: American Indians, Basketball, Case Studies, Community Relations, Community Study, Cultural Background, Ethnography, Human Geography, Information Sources, Network Analysis, Research Methodology, Reservation American Indians, Residential Patterns, Social Networks, Space Utilization, Youth
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Yavapai (Tribe)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Geographers Association (San Antonio, TX., April 26, 1982).