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Ethnography as the Foundation of the Systems - Essay Example

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From this paper, it is clear that some of the subjects are given additional attention as compared to others. For instance, the input of young people especially women is missing while old men are given considerable time. It is also worth noting that despite not interviewing as many women, he spends most of his time observing them as they carry out their activities and their dressing (Synge, 14).The chief objective of the qualitative study is to understand and interpret the life and culture of the people of Aran Islands. He wishes to study the Gaelic language and the primitive life of the inhabitant. In fact, he believes that they are the most primitive tribe in Europe. This is evidenced when he decides to continue his research in Inishmaan (Synge, 19). Before leaving he notes that these people have an ingrained belief in Fairies.While in Inishman Synge observes the simplicity of life of the locals as comparable to the medieval lifestyle. The tools and equipment used are not only made of local materials, but they lack modernity. For instance, the use of spinning-wheels and wooden barrels instead of earthenware, and the obvious lack of art (Synge, 23). Their dressing is equally simple, made from the materials found within the island. Flannels are spun, by women using wool from their own sheep while shoes are made from cow skin which have to be soaked every night to avoid discomfort when the skin dries.Synge is an etic observer in that despite the warm reception by the community, he relates to the events in the community as a foreigner. He continually complains of the ineffectiveness of the means of transport used such as the curraghs the fact that an island is a desolate place. Nonetheless, the people remain cooperative both young and old. The old men easily open up to him providing various anecdotes that form part of the culture of the people while the young, able-bodied boys like Michael provide the tour around the Island. He is taught new skills like rowing boats, navigating rocky terrain using the local shoes (pampooties).  ...Show more
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Summary

This essay examines the role of an ethnographer both as an observer and a participant. Ethnography is a method of qualitative research that is carried out on cultural phenomena that form the foundation of the systems and knowledge of a social or cultural group…
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