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About Ethnographic Observation


    • Ethnography is a sub-discipline of cultural anthropology. Those engaged in ethnographic research are called ethnographers. While anthropology is the study of human cultures both past and present, ethnography is the study of contemporary cultures.

    Emic Approach

    • The emic approach is understanding the perspective of an "insider." Not only do ethnographers train themselves in the emic approach, but it is becoming more common for members of a given culture to become their own ethnographers.

    Etic Approach

    • The etic approach is the study of a culture by an unbiased "outsider." Modern anthropology questions whether anyone can be a completely unbiased observer.

    Ethnographic Analogy

    • Ethnographic analogy is the study of past cultures through analogy with contemporary cultures. It is one of the key principles in the interpretation of the archaeological record.

    Ethnographers Today

    • Traditionally, ethnographic research centered around non-Western and non-industrial cultures. In a modern, globally-connected world, concepts of "non-Western" and "non-industrial" are changing. Ethnographers today are also much more politically active within the cultures they study.

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