ERIC Number: ED036582
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1969-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Ethnography and Large-scale Complex Sociocultural Fields: Participant Observation from Multiple Perspectives in a Low-Income Urban Afro-American Community.
Valentine, Charles A.
This study deals with selected ethnographic and other methods used in research on Afro-American communities in the United States. After a review of the conclusions of psychologists on Afro-American culture, it is contended that the best method of enquiry is that of ethnography, and that, even though the ethnographic method has been hitherto used, the studies completed have been partial ethnographic studies because the researchers have neither lived in the community studied nor studied a sufficiently large area. The project described in this paper is that of studying a black ghetto as an entire community, with observation from multiple perspectives. The researchers participated fully in the activities of the community, in exclusive black organizations and associations, and experienced with their neighbors the impact of major American institutions: the school, health services, and police; the observations relating to these are described in detail. Tentative conclusions reached include the following: the rejection of traits and complexes such as the so-called "culture of poverty" and "lower-class culture," a view of Afro-American culture as complex and internally heterogeneous and of Afro-Americans as bicultural, and the pervasive nature of institutional racism. (KG)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Public Health Service (DHEW), Rockville, MD.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented in part at the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association, New Orleans, La., November 1969