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Using Methods in the Field

A Practical Introduction and Casebook

Edited by Victor C. de Munck and Elisa J. Sobo - Contributions by H. Russell Bernard; Gery Ryan; Thomas Weisner; Mark S. Fleisher; Jennifer A. Harrington; Juliana Flinn; Gun Roos; Allen Johnson; Robert C. Harman; Carole E. Hill; W. Penn Handwerker; Douglas Caulkins; Javier Garcia de Alba Garcia; Ana Leticia Salcedo Rocha; Guadarrama L. A. Vargas; Trini Garro; Jeffrey C. Johnson; David C. Griffith; Lauren Clark; Carol P. Vojir; Nancy O. Hester; Roxie Foster; Karen L. Miller and Stephen P. Borgatti

Methods textbooks generally offer prescriptive advice on how to perform certain techniques, how to develop specific strategies, how to analyze your results. But, as all experienced ethnographers know, this fine-sounding advice rarely provides ample guidance in dealing with real people in real field settings. That is where this casebook differs. Selecting many key methods regularly used by anthropologists — participant observation, consensus analysis, simple surveys, scaling, freelisting and triads, networks, decision modeling— the editors commissioned scholars who have completed studies using these techniques to describe them in the context of real field work. Using cases from health, community politics, family relations, and child development (among others) in settings as diverse as an Arkansas college campus, a Mexican barrio, a Thai village, and a Scottish business, the student is given a clear understanding of the diversity of methods used by anthropologists and the complexities surrounding their use. « less more »
AltaMira Press
Pages: 288Size: 6 3/4 x 9
978-0-7619-8912-7 • Hardback • August 1998 • $92.00 • (£65.00)
978-0-7619-8913-4 • Paperback • August 1998 • $40.00 • (£24.95)
978-0-7591-1748-8 • eBook • August 1998 • $38.00 • (£24.95)
Victor C. de Munck is an assistant professor of anthropology at SUNY-New Paltz.

Elisa J. Sobo is associate professor of anthropology at San Diego State University.
1 Foreword
2 The Forest of Methods
3 Participant Observation: A Thick Explanation of Conflict in a Sri Lankan Village
4 Content Analysis of Words in Brief Descriptions: How Fathers and Mothers Describe Their Children
5 Freelisting: Management at at Women's Federal Prison Camp
6 Freelists, Ratings, Averages, and Frequencies: Why so Few Students Study Anthropology
7 Pile Sorting: "Kids Like Candy"
8 Guttman Scaling: An Analysis of Matsienga Men's Manufacturing Skills
9 Triad Questionnaires: Old Age in Karen and Maya Cultures
10 Decision Modeling: Its Use in Medical Anthropology
11 Consensus Analysis: Sampling Frames for Valid, Generalizable Research Findings
12 Consensus Analysis: Do Scottish Business Advisors Agree on Models of Success?
13 Consensus Analysis: High Blood Pressure in a Mexican Barrio
14 Visual Data: Collection, Analysis, and Representation
15 MDS and QAP: How Do Children Rate Painful Experiences?
16 Afterword
The text is eminently practical... The cultural anthropologists run into a dizzying variety of problems and tackle them with diverse approaches. Those who study the relationship between language and culture equally need a combination of flexibility and tried and true methods of dealing with both people and data.The 20 experts here give the benefit of their hands-on research experience, whether with problems of healthcare providers, or prison populations, Sri Lankan nationalization and modernization conflicts.