Included in these tools, the emic and etic criteria for evaluation, which anthropologists use, give a better understanding of children’s behavior. Etic concept is about “cross-cultural and more universal dimensions of human behaviors” (p 161). It demands a descriptive system valid for all cultures, with objects of comparisons operationalized as variables under investigation which include perception and thinking, aggression as outcome variables or socialization practices and school attendance as generating mechanisms (Helfrich, 132). Emic perspective considers “within-group characteristics” (Weil and Kincheloe, 161) where culture is an integral part of human behavior and not just an external factor. “The emic approach shows us that it is not only the subjects of the research who are culture-dependent, but also the whole system of psychological thought and its underlying assumptions” (Helfrich, 132-133).
In the article “Who is Bobby? Ideology and method in the discovery of a Down syndrome person’s competence” (1992), DA Goode said that emic analysis uses the “insider’s point of view” while etic analysis uses the “outsider’s perspective”. In the case of emic analysis, the focus is on what the subject tells about himself and his experiences, or from within the situation under study (Goode, 198) while in etic analysis, the focus is on what the professionals have observed. According to him, “etic frameworks are external to the situation under analysis” (Goode, 198).
In the book “Ability Profiling and School Failure”, through an observer’s eyes, at first glance, one can say that what Laura thinks of Jay is based on an emic perspective. Their everyday encounter in school should have been enough for Laura to have an insider’s view of Jay’s behaviors and idiosyncrasies and thus should have a better understanding of them. But as you read, you will see that in Laura’s opinion, Jay is "emotionally ...Show more