Globe-Trotting in Sandals: A Field Guide to Cultural Research

Author(s):
McKinney, Carol V
Description:

Provides guidance in the practical aspects of fieldwork and gives suggestions for collecting both qualitative and quantitative cultural data.

The author was inspired by students and fieldworkers to write a practical field guide to cultural research for those who want to discover culture from an emic perspective. It is useful to ethnographers, development workers, sociologists, missionaries, and anyone who desires to study another culture in depth and covers a wide range of topics:

  • Ethics in cultural research
  • Preparation for fieldwork
  • Beginning fieldwork
  • Participant observation
  • Language learning
  • The ethnographic record
  • Informal interviews
  • Structured interviews

About the Author

Carol McKinney has MA degrees in Linguistics and in Anthropology, and a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Southern Methodist University. She did fieldwork in Nigeria and Kenya and is an associate professor at the Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics, Dallas, Texas. She is a member of the American Anthropological Association and the Association of Africanist Anthropologists.

Table of Contents:

Preface

  1. Introduction to Cultural Research Methods
  2. 1.1 Why cultural research?
    1.2 Cultural research from etic and emic perspectives
    1.3 Models for collecting ethnographic data
    1.4 Writing
    1.5 Professional strangers
    1.6 Overview

  3. Ethics in Cultural Research
  4. 2.1 Social responsibility
    2.2 Principles for ethics
    2.3 Relevance of research to a community
    2.4 Ethics as a byproduct of cultural research
    2.5 Summary

  5. Preparation for Field Research
  6. 3.1 Selecting a research project
    3.2 Research proposal
    3.3 Literature review
    3.4 Research hypotheses
    3.5 Research affiliation
    3.6 Length of cultural research
    3.7 Health considerations and hazards
    3.8 Summary

  7. Beginning Fieldwork
  8. 4.1 Site selection
    4.2 Rationale for residing in the research site and role of researcher
    4.3 Children in the field
    4.4 Building trust relationships
    4.5 Discussion

  9. Participant Observation
  10. 5.1 Process observation
    5.2 Group dynamics and decision making
    5.3 An ethnographic research cycle
    5.4 Goals in ethnographic research
    5.5 Research assistants
    5.6 Everyday pragmatics
    5.7 Culture shock, confusion, and stress
    5.8 Events
    5.9 Passive adaptational research

  11. Language Learning
  12. 6.1 Benefits of a working knowledge of the local language
    6.2 Use of interpreters
    6.3 Which language should you learn?
    6.4 Language learning plateaus
    6.5 Levels of language proficiency
    6.6 Language assistants
    6.7 Equipment for language learning

  13. The Ethnographic Record
  14. 7.1 Types of cultural data files
    7.2 Suggestions for collecting ethnographic data
    7.3 Practical considerations
    7.4 Use of your field notes by others
    7.5 Uses of an ethnographic record
    7.6 Summary

  15. Informal Interviews
  16. 8.1 Participant observation and interviews
    8.2 Social norms in interviews
    8.3 Interviews on sensitive topics
    8.4 Use of local terms to guide interviews
    8.5 Types of interviews
    8.6 Motives of interviewees
    8.7 Lying
    8.8 Key questions
    8.9 Types of interviews
    8.10 Research colleagues

  17. Structured Interviews: Beyond Impressions and Anecdotes
  18. 91 Participant observation, a prerequisite
    9.2 Interview schedule or questionnaire?
    9.3 Constructing a research instrument
    9.4 Suggested minimum census database
    9.5 Testing a trial research instrument
    9.6 Sample selection
    9.7 Possible data bias
    9.8 Training research assistants
    9.9 Administering questionnaires and interview schedules
    9.10 Other relevant questions

  19. Statistical Analysis of Social Science Data
  20. 10.1 Statistical computer programs
    10.2 Normal distribution
    10.3 Basic statistical concepts
    10.4 Statistical tests

  21. Demography
  22. 11.1 Uses of demographic data
    11.2 Resources for study of demography
    11.3 Population change
    11.4 Demographic regime or demographic profile
    11.5 Collecting demographic data

  23. Maps
  24. 12.1 Initial sketches
    12.2 Folk maps
    12.3 Artistic sketches
    12.4 Professional maps
    12.5 Historical maps
    12.6 Features of maps

  25. Material Culture
  26. 13.1 Symbolism
    13.2 Holism and material culture
    13.3 Changes in material culture
    13.4 Suggestions for study of material culture
    13.5 Documentation of material culture

  27. Kinship
  28. 14.1 Kinship terms of reference and address
    14.2 Kinship charts
    14.3 Adoption, fictive kinship, and ritual kinship
    14.4 Correlating kin terms with expected behavior
    14.5 Genealogical method
    14.6 Data to collect
    14.7 Family
    14.8 Parallel and cross-cousins
    14.9 Kinship systems

  29. Marriage, Descent, and Residence
  30. 15.1 Marriage
    15.2 Residence patterns
    15.3 Descent
    15.4 Fictive kinship: Ritual kinship and adoption

  31. Life Histories
  32. 16.1 Collecting life histories
    16.2 Analyzing life histories

  33. Social Networks
  34. 17.1 Social network research topics
    17.2 Network analysis terminology
    17.3 Collecting social network data
    17.4 Analysis of social networks
    17.5 Problems in network analysis
    17.6 Computer programs for network analysis
    17.7 Practice in network analysis

  35. A Cognitive Approach to Worldview
  36. 18.1 Methods for collecting cognitive data
    18.2 Semantic relationships
    18.3 Worldview
    18.4 Cultural themes
    18.5 Discussion

  37. Values
  38. 19.1 Values and worldview
    19.2 Prime, focal, and specific values
    19.3 Values from an emic perspective
    19.4 Values correlated with subsistence patterns
    19.5 Values change
    19.6 Means of transmitting values
    19.7 Contradictory values
    19.8 Prioritization of values
    19.9 Suggestions for studying values

  39. Oral Traditions
  40. 20.1 Types of oral traditions
    20.2 Suggestions for collecting oral traditions

  41. Analysis of Oral Traditions
  42. 21.1 Overview
    21.2 Analytic perspectives of oral traditions

  43. Music
  44. 22.1 Analysis of music as culture

  45. Rapid Appraisals
  46. 23.1 Rural development tourism
    23.2 Field methods to use in rapid appraisals
    23.3 Collecting BA data
    23.4 Participatory rural appraisals

  47. Social Impact Analysis
  48. 24.1 Project identification document
    24.2 Quantitative data collection
    24.3 Knowledge, attitudes, and practices survey
    24.4 Project paper
    24.5 Practical considerations
    24.6 Changing development plans
    24.7 Length of development project
    24.8 Evaluations

  49. Other Field Methods: Time Allocation Studies, Communicative Events, Modeling, LinguaLinks
  50. 25.1 Time allocation studies
    25.2 Communicative events
    25.3 Modeling
    25.4 LinguaLinks
    25.5 Completion of fieldwork

  51. Completion of a Field Project: Publication of Research Results Authorship
  52. 26.1 Goals of write-up
    26.2 Beginning to write
    26.3 Publication
    26.4 Review of manuscript
    26.5 Sharing your publication
    26.6 Electronic publishing
    26.7 Conclusions

Appendix: Resources

References

Index

$34.00
Date:
2000
Extent:
xvi, 337 pages
Subject:
Ethnography
ISBN 13:
978-1556710865
ISBN 10:
1556710860
Size:
8.5 × 11 × 0.73 in
Weight:
2.2 lb
Publication Category:
Field:
Content Language: