Weekly Response 4/15

This week the center of our studies was on ethnographies.  Ethnographies are interesting to me because, while I believe they can sometimes provide highly valuable insight in ways that other forms of research can’t, they are also very subjective and extremely sensitive. It is extremely difficult for someone to observe a culture that is not their own, for someone to come in as an outsider and expect to make accurate conclusions about what a group of people is like without a deep understanding. While it is true that indigenous studies have biases of their own because it is often difficult for people who live within a culture to examine their culture from an outside perspective, cross-cultural studies pose equally difficult challenges and have just as many biases because they often misinterpret or do not accurately convey the complexities of the the culture it is trying to examine. It is commonly believed that enthotheories provide a more objectionable perspective of a culture, but this is not true because ethnographies are reliant on the perspective of the observer, and everyone’s perspective is objective. Therefore, perhaps the most accurate way to make any conclusion about cross-cultural studies is to look at a variety of perspectives. This was something that was discussed in the lecture that I found very valuable. The more voices and perspectives that are included in the discussion, the better and clearer the picture becomes. When all people are invited to the discussion we get a more well-rounded, complete understanding of what is being examined. That is why diversity of thought is so important.