ERIC Number: ED242643
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Nov-20
Reference Count: 0
Validity and the Contexts of Ethnography.
Rhoades, John D.
The field of ethnography is expected to provide reliable, accurate information regarding some aspect of an unfamiliar culture. However, this contribtuion is only useful if the results are presented along with a description and critical evaluation of the context in which the data was obtained. An example of failure to do this is found in an ethnographic description of a Maltese village used in a popular text. The author's descriptions of social class, patronage, and status of the church within the village are based on his own position as a friend of powerful members of Maltese society and of the village priest. This situation, where the context of acquired information is not carefully examined as to its potential effect on the information itself, may be all too common in ethnographic studies. Unless ethnographers delineate and assess the context of their work, this field of study cannot claim to present valid cultural descriptions. (LP)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association (82nd, Chicago, IL, November 16-20, 1983).