ERIC Number: ED190421
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Nov
Reference Count: 0
A Note on Some Common Problems in Current Field Work in Sociology and Anthropology.
This paper compares research interests of anthropologists and sociologists. The hypothesis is that similarities in the way in which anthropologists and sociologists define and gather data may produce convergences in style and methods of research, particularly in field work situations. Field work is interpreted to include practical and/or research work carried on away from the home university or research organization. Field work research topics which were, until recently, of interest almost exclusively to either sociologists or anthropologists but which are increasingly studied by researchers from both disciplines include ethnography, social change, social problems, pluralist groups in post-industrialist societies, social stratification, and socialization. In addition, many problems are common to researchers in both disciplines. These include the decline in funds available for sociological and anthropological research, the difficulty experienced by field workers from both disciplines in establishing rapport with sources, the tendency to produce value-laden observation due to bias against or over-identification with sources, and failure of professionals in both fields to employ, train, and promote women and minority group members as field researchers. The conclusion is that anthropologists and sociologists will improve their contributions to social science research if they continue to draw heavily upon each other's work, train newcomers in methodologies and literature of both disciplines, and encourage women and minority scholars to participate in field work projects. (DB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Excerpts from paper presented at graduate student seminar on "Race, Sex, and Social Science Field Work" (Portland, OR, November, 1978).