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reaction paper to our text book "In The Fields" (Reaction Paper Sample)

In The Field: Life and Work in Cultural Anthropology By George Gmelch & Sharon Bohn Gmelch This essay assignment is a reaction paper based on the assigned book, In the Field.? This essay is NOT a research paper and you should not consult any other sources, other than your textbook, when you are writing this essay.? You may consult your textbook, Essentials of Cultural Anthropology, to look up definitions and such.? Please respond to the assigned questions about the text in your own words and using your own interpretation of the book.? First, finish reading In The Field, chapters 1 through 14.? After you have finished reading the book, write a 4-page book reaction paper.? Use 12-point font and double space your pages.? Make sure to write in a proper essay format with an introduction, body, and conclusion to your essay.? Address ALL of the following questions and use specific examples from the text to support your answers.? What are the challenges of doing fieldwork for the first time (having never done any fieldwork)? What are the challenges of doing fieldwork in a new culture (even if you have done fieldwork in other cultures before)? How did the anthropologists establish rapport with their subjects" Why is this important to conducting successful fieldwork? What were the advantages and limitations of the different data-gathering techniques used" How compatible were the quantitative and qualitative research methods described? Which field site location and culture outside the U.S. do you think you would have the most difficulty adjusting to, and why" Which field site location and culture outside the U.S. do you think you would have the easiest time adjusting to, and why? source..
Student’s Name Instructor’s Name Course Date Reaction Paper I have desired to study and understand human practices, cultures, ideas, values, and everything about human life. I am happy that since I joined this course, I have grown immensely in my cultural understanding of populations gained through inconvenient coursework and class readings. One of the books that have contributed to my knowledge in this field is In The Field: Life and Work in Cultural Anthropology written by George Gmelch and Sharon Gmelch. The book focuses on what cultural anthropologists undertake when they are in the research field. My level of understanding of fieldwork has shifted a notch higher through reading the book In the Field where I have learned the challenges of doing fieldwork for the first time, in a new culture, data gathering techniques, writing rapport, and cultural adaptation during fieldwork among other important anthropological concepts. To begin with, anthropologists face several challenges when they undertake fieldwork, especially for the first time. The two experienced immense challenges that ranged from harsh weather to hostility from some of the local people who treated them as strangers. One of the main challenges was making the locals trust them and work with them. As Sharon states, “Some people were curious about us; others, suspicious” (14). They had a tough time responding to questions and trying to win the trust of the locals. Their experience proves to me that doing fieldwork in a new culture is not easy and requires determination and perseverance. Another challenge revolved around understanding the people who came and went due to their nomadic lifestyles. The two would start observing them and understanding their cultural lifestyle only for them to disappear again. This is evident when Sharon states, “Travelers often made plans on the spur of the moment” which means that they could leave unexpectedly (Gmelch and Gmelch 16). Other issues included managing life in their bedsitter studio, traversing the land with their ‘not so good’ car, and building relationships with some hostile locals. When I read about such issues, I feel somehow challenged because as an aspiring anthropologist, I will face such challenges in the future, and I need to know how to go about them. In the Field gives me a suitable insight that will play a crucial role in my future fieldwork. One of the most interesting things that come out clearly in the book is the aspect of establishing rapport with the subjects. George and Sharon were clinical in their approach to establishing their relationships with the local people. The two anthropologists explain that the entire ethnographic fieldwork is collaborative which means that it required continuous communication between them (researchers) and the people studied. The approach used was interesting as the two relied on one person introducing them to few people through which they worked to form close relationships with them. Once the relationship is established, the two would convince the new friends to introduce them to more people in the community through which they would again build relationships with them and proceed on. For example, when they first arrived, they contacted Eithne Russell, a social worker at the community who took them to a certain wedding through which they were introduced to few people (Gmelch and Gmelch 10). At the same time, the two opted to respond freely to the questions they were asked by the locals. They understood that they could only eliminate the suspicion of the people by allowing them to know who they were. Sharon had to respond to questions such as, “Are you married? How long have you been married? Is he your husband? Do you have any children? Don’t you like children? Are you from America? Have you seen cowboys?” (Gmelch and Gmelch 15). Such questions would form the basis of her conversations with the locals through which she could equally learn two or three things about them. I learned through the book that establishing such rapports was essential to conducting successful fieldwork because anthropologists hardly deduce information from the subjects without relating with them well. Moreover, the book explains various data collection techniques that George and...
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