What is Ethnography? Section A

19 Sep

Part One: What is ethnography? How is ethnography characterized? (4-5 sentences)

Part Two: Read the following article on the Yamomami Controversy. What is the Yanomami controversy? What accusations were made against Neel and Chagnon? Based on this article, and the videos you have watched in class, what are the dangers of ethnography? (2-3 paragraphs)

Part Three: Read the following article on the Ways of Looking at Ethnographic Film. What are the problems of ethnographic film? Provide 4-5 examples from the article to support your answer. Based on this article, how can the truthfulness of a photograph be affected? (2-3 paragraphs)


24 Responses to “What is Ethnography? Section A”

  1. sap3786 September 19, 2011 at 6:35 pm #

    PART 1 -Ethnography is a branch of anthropology dealing with the scientific description of individual cultures. they are people who go around and inter act with other groups and people with other life styles to get an experience and learn about there life’s and how they live. They interact with them to get a feeling of what it is like to live the way they live. they eat what they eat , and sleep and do everything as if they were them.

    PART 2 – The Yanomami controversy was about a guy named Neel who went into a indian tribe/ cultural group of people and he began to live with them and do things with them to observe what the did and how they lived. he helped them to become very violent. he made them machetes and weapons that he thought they would use for food but instead they used them to fight each other. Some dangers of Ethnography is the things you bring to the people can become dangerous because they can be come violent, tricky, un trust worthy may do things they are not earthier a custom to doing or not so-post to do. The people you are with might decide that they don’t trust you and something can happen to you.

    PART 3 – The truth full ness of photograph and video can be affected because to get them to do something for you on camera isn’t like the way the would normally do it its not like original. When you take a picture or a video or people doing things earthier to show off of to do what you want them to do its different because that isn’t the way they normally are.
    Looking at a picture of people who you don’t know and cant really understand them because you don’t know how or who they are can be difficult. its difficult because you cant exactly tell whats going on or how they are doing things there doing. You might never understand why they look the way they look or why they are doing the things they are doing.
    Pictures and videos of people and how they live cant always be understood or believed only because some times its staged. some times its taken in a way to make you think something else thats not true about the community or people that are being observed.

  2. thomasmontalbano1 September 19, 2011 at 6:51 pm #

    Part One: Ethnography is a study used to describe the life of a person or community of a culture, by identifying the practices or beliefs of that person or community. Being an ethnographer is a lot of work. There is a lot of interacting and writing involved. The study is also very in-depth.

    Part Two: The Yanomami Controversy is a series of accusations made by Patrick Tierney towards James Neel and Naploean Chagnon. Tierney accused Neel of making the epidemic of Measles worse by trying help fight the epidemic. He also accused Neel of being able to have done more. These accusations received a lot of media attention.

    Tierney also accused Chagnon of multiple things, including misrepresenting key ideas of the Yanomami society, and increasing warfare because of his distribution of goods. Chagnon was also accused of staging footage that he claimed was actual footage of Yanomami people, which helped the groups rise to fame.

    After reading the article, I noticed a lot of dangers involved in ethnography. Outsiders that get involved in what they are studying, might be putting them selfs at risk, and could be altering the behavior of the people they are studying. Also, if a group being studied knows that someone is taking notes about they way they are acting and how their society goes, they might alter some things that they do.

    Part Three: There are many problems involved in Ethnographic films. Ethnographers can easily focus on one part of a society and film only that part, rather then filming every part of the society that they can. Its easy to take a photo of one thing, and have everyone thinking that the whole society is just like that one picture. Filmers and photographers can also edit their footage, move and delete specific clips, and make a society look nothing like it actually is. Sound can also be altered by narrating over what people might actually be saying.

    The truthfulness of a photo can be affected by thinking about who took the photo, and what else is going on around what is going on in that picture. Many photographers focus on one thing when taking a picture, when there can be a lot more going on. Ethnographers should take great care in filming or taking photos to ensure that these pictures and videos are documenting what the society is doing.

    -Thomas Montalbano

  3. sjv0367 September 19, 2011 at 7:01 pm #

    Ethnography is used to describe a culture or life of a certain person or community by describing and identifying their daily life practices, beliefs, and influences through video or photographs.

    The Yamumami controversy was basically that they we given script before taping their interactions with Chagnon. Chagnon was accused of introducing violence to the Yamomami community but trading and introducing weapons. Neel was accused of making the measles epidemic worse and not making the effort to help.

    Problems with ethnography:
    -there may be a price
    -may introduce unknown elements to community
    -may not be accurrate/natural meaning the actions may have been infuence or contaminated by the vistors

    Jayleen Vega

  4. syr4665 September 19, 2011 at 7:08 pm #

    Yamil Reyes
    Part One:
    Ethnography is being able to understand and interview a certain culture but not let your culture and your personality get in the way. It is almost like a strategy or form that anthropologists use to describe the culture or person they are studying. Ethnography involves an interviewer and a note taker, in order to guarantee that all information given is written and understood. I think ethnography is a good strategy to use when viewing a different culture because it involves you making as much of unbiased statements on what you have observed.

    Part Two:
    The Yanomami Controversy is that Neel and Chagnon were too involved in the tribe and its culture. They were among the Yanomami tribe for so long they began to influence them in different ways, by supplying them with weapons they never had access to before. This is one of the main things not to do as an anthropologist. They changed the Yanomami tribe into a violent and viscous tribe, the complete opposite of what they were in the past.

    Based on the article and movie, the dangers of ethnography are very large. You as an anthropologist have to learn how to seperate your background and culture when you go and observe others, it is the only way to make sure that you make a good and unbiased conclusion. If you involve your personal beliefs and culture you are most likely to influence those you are observing. For example Neel supplied the Yanomami tribe with machetes and knives something they didn’t have before, the fact that the anthropologist interfered with the subjects turned the Yanomami tribe into a more violent tribe. This could have been avoided if the anthropologist learned how to make peace with the tribe without providing them with weapons.

    Part Three:
    Problems with ethnographic films include the fact people do act different when cameras and film crews are around, you can never get the 100% truth and normal them when you are observing them. But I think if they don’t know you are observing them, probably by camouflaging the camera or observing them from a distance you might have a better chance at catching the real them. When film makers are involved they can stage and pose certain scenes just to get more effective and interesting shots, so that is just another way you cant get the complete truth off a ethnographic film.

    The fact that filming involves turning the camera on and off meaning you only see what the filmmaker wants you to see, or what the filmmaker believes is important. After selecting what they want to film, filmmakers also have the power to cut out or add what they want. It is in their hands what information they want to put out there for us and the only way we would probably learn what the filmmakers learned is by going through the fieldwork ourselves, . That is the problem with ethnographic films they are secondhand sources and nothing compares to primary sources for completely valid information.

  5. sbuitoni September 19, 2011 at 7:10 pm #

    Part 1) Ethnography is the practice of observing a culture. The purpose of ethnography is to really understand the community and its beliefs. Ethnographers interact, write down and sometimes question people to analyze their different answers. Also, ethnographers try to absorb and experiment different practices or rituals that the culture participates in.

    Part 2) The Yanomami contrevarsy is a set of accusations made by Tierney directed to Chagnon and Neel. These accusations came out of Tierney’s book “Darkness in El Dorado”. These accusations have helped the Yanomami gain fame and become the most popular Amazonian Indians in the world. I think the dangers in ethnography can lead to many disputes throughout the tribe, false information from ethnographers which may accuse different aspects about a culture from other people and disagreeing with beliefs.

    Some of the accusations that Tierney made towards Neel included that Neel helped make the epidemic measles worse, and that Neel did not help the Yanomami at a time of need. On the other hand, Tierney made accusations that Chagnon misrepresented key aspects of the Yanomami society, increased warfare issues among the Yanomami tribe, and made false information to help produce a film that won many cinematic awards, “Yanomamo: The Fierce People”.

    Part 3) There are many problems involved in Ethnographic Films. For example, when using film or camera can make people self-conscious and wanting to mug camera equipment. Secondly, film crew and directors can make people pose or exaggerate acts to create a more intense or interesting film. Thirdly, editing film can also lead to selective information. Also, anthropologist can focus on photos that don’t explain everything thats going on in that area.

    The truthfulness of a photo can be affected by thinking about the photographer, and what else is happening while the photo is being taken. Many photographers focus on a specific subject while other things happen in the background. Ethnographers should take their time and ensure that their picture and information is real and giving an accurate sense of that cultures beliefs to an outsiders point of view.

    Sybilla Longinotti-Buitoni

  6. sjo9572 September 19, 2011 at 7:12 pm #

    Ethnography is t he anthropology of describing people from the inside. The people themselves tell an ethnographer about their community. The ethnographer uses this information to describe the group. To do this the ethnographer has to interact with the community often entering or being accepted into it by trading. They need to learn to communicate so the people they are studying can tell the ethnographers about themselves. They often need to write a lot.

    The Yanomami Controversy is explained through a series accusations made by Patrick Tierney against Napoleon Chagnon, and James Neel. Neel is accused of making the measles epidemic worse and for not doing as much as he could have to help the Yanomami. The first accusation has been dismissed while the second is still discussed.
    Chagnon receives a few more basic accusations. Starting with Chagnon’s misrepresentation of the key dynamics of the Yanomami society, mostly their violence that was not as fierce as depicted by Chagnon. Chagnon helped cause the warfare he observed himself due to his trading. Chagnon is also accused of staging films he helped produce because it was scripted.

    There are many several dangers of ethnography. These dangers include damaging the communities by interfering with their society. If you add too many different goods to their economy then their lives are completely changed. You can cause war or conflict due to some people wanting these trade goods. If the people you are studying are not represented correctly then anybody who looks at your research will not really know what these people are like.

    There are many problems with ethnographic film because with film you cannot say as much as you can with words and pictures. People will not analyze every image like you would with a picture resulting in them only seeing certain actions taking place. People will see the images and try to decipher what they mean within seconds as they move on to the next. You also have to hear the opinion of the person speaking. Who might not be representing everything correctly, this as well as the point of view of the person narrating changes the meaning of what the people are doing.

    The truthfulness of the film is also very troubling as many things change while making a film. Filmmakers can stage scene or pose people to get the shots they want. What the directors want in a shot is completely up to them changing what could possibly be seen. The actions of the people being filmed may be changed just with the presence of a camera and a crew. Their behavior can be altered in many different ways either becoming self-conscious or wanting to take the camera.

    The editing itself is a problem as it changes what was actually happening. This creates actions that may not have existed. Filming is not as reliable as actually working in the field or reading about what has been written.

    -Jose Ovalle

  7. Kassandra Diaz September 19, 2011 at 7:13 pm #

    Ethnography describes a culture or a community by observing someone’s beliefs and/or practices. Religion can often be something observed for example what they believe in, who they believe in, why they believe in these things, do they take religion serious, is there certain rules, etc. Religion can also be put down as a practice for example what they do to support there religion etc. Ethnography is basically digging deeper into the community or person you are observing.
    The Yanomami controversy was Patrick Tierny accusing Napoleon Chagnon and James Neel of writing things that were incorrect about the Yanomami. Patrick Tierny wrote a book named Darkness in El Dorado and in this book he accused Chagnon and Neel. Tierny accused Neel of helping to make the measles epidemic worse and that Neel could have done more then he did to help the Yanomami. He also accused Chagnon of staging the films Chagnon had helped produce, these films won a lot of awards, these films were suppose to be live and not staged.
    Based on this article and the videos we have seen in class, I think the dangers of ethnography are being accused of doing things by others, not fitting in, not being able to talk their language, etc. I think the example of the Yanomami controversy can be seen as a dangerous situation because any small little thing you do can be seen as a huge thing. For example, Neel had no idea he was bringing a disease to these people so now he is being accused of not doing anything to help them etc. I think ethnography is something you have to be very careful with, like with your end results on the culture you studied, you would not want to be seen as a liar about the things said.
    Making an ethnographic film can often be hard, it can have many problems. Sometimes, the presence of the film crew or the camera can make people feel uncomfortable making their behavior change into something they do not really do in their daily lives. Staging the scenes and posing the people can also change how realistic the movie actually is because you are basically controlling the moves they make. Sometimes figuring out which was to face the camera or move the camera can be hard because you may sometimes miss things that are happening on the part you do not have the camera facing. Editing and cutting out scenes can be very difficult as well. Point is, it can be very difficult to make an ethnographic film.
    The truthfulness of a picture can affect the way the people who are seeing the photo view the culture. For example if we took a picture of the Jersey Shore drinking at a club with shirts saying “Italians Rock” people are going to be like “Wow…Are all Italian people that way?” Pictures affect the way people think so if someone staged the picture making it look the way the people would not actually act then the picture would not really be real. Taking a random shot of something that was actually not planned would be more of the “truth”.

  8. Dhensel September 19, 2011 at 7:14 pm #

    1.Ethnography seeks to describe all or part of the culture or life of a person, or a community, by identifying and describing the practices or beliefs of that person or community. Ethnography consists of investigative journalism, anthropology and sociology. Ethnography describes a culture from the perspective of someone inside within the culture. It requires fieldwork and interaction with others, to really get to know the people.

    2.The Yanomami Controversy is a controversy in which a freelance investigative journalist called Patrick Tierney made a number of accusations against James Neel and Napoleon Chagnon, in his book Darkness in El Dorado. Tierney’s two accusations against Neel were that: 1) Neel helped make the measles epidemic worse rather than better and that 2) Neel could have done more to help the Yanomami at that time.
    The accusations made against Chagnon were that 1) Chagnon misrepresented key dynamics of Yanomami society- particularly their level of violence. The Yanomami were not as fierce as Chagnon had described. Tierney accused Chagnon that 2) he himself had helped cause warfare within the Yanomami through his enormous distribution of goods that had stimulated warfare. Chagnon was also accused of 3) staging the films he helped produce that had won many awards.

    3.The dangers of Ethnography being that if you as anthropologist misinterpret the culture you are studying there could be consequences such as getting involved in a controversy like Neel and Chagnon.
    The problems of Ethnographic film are:
    a)The presence of the camera, or the film crew, can make people self-conscious, altering their usual behavior, perhaps evoking mugging for the camera.
    b)The filmmakers can stage scenes, or pose people, to get more effective or more aesthetic shots, in the process altering reality.
    c)The very act of photography is extremely selective, pointing the lens in one direction and thus not filming all other possible directions, as well as turning the camera on for only a few moments and so not capturing the rest of the action.
    d)Editing, in its acts of including or cutting shots, is selective.
    e) Editing, in juxtaposing shots from different times and places (the process called montage), creates an implied unity of action that may not have existed.

    The truthfulness of a photograph can be affected as sometimes it can be staged and posed which does not seem as real. Photography can also be very selective and therefore not very truthful as it is only focusing on a certain area.

  9. Aidan Northington September 19, 2011 at 7:14 pm #

    part 1: Ethnography is describing a culture, by describing their beliefs and practices. One does this by visiting these cultures and living with them over a period of time. In doing this, they are able to experience the culture they are studying first hand. This enables the anthropologist to make an accurate description of the culture, do to their first hand experiences.

    part 2: The Yanomami controversy was several accusations made by Patrick Tierney, against geneticist James Neel and anthropologist Napoleon Chagnon. The accusations made against Neel was that he worsened the epidemic of measles, and inaccurately depicted the Yanomami and their level of violence. The accusations made against Chagnon was that he caused warfare among the Yanomami because of the goods he distributed, and for inaccurately depicting the Yanomami in the famous movie “Yanomamo: the Fierce People. Some of the dangers of ethnography is that sometimes your intentions can do more harm then good, and that you have to be careful of who you give gifts to.

    part 3: The problems with ethnographic films is that they are supposed to be accurate, even though they are not all of the time. There are various problems with shooting an ethnographic film. The presence of the camera can cause people to act differently or unnatural. It is possible for the filmmakers to stage shots or people.The complication of having to try and capture events from all angles and perspectives to not miss something important. Editing is very hard and selective. Shots taken at different times can imply something that did not happen. All in all, the truthfulness of a photograph can be compromised, when digital editing is done on a photo or shot, to say something that may not be true.

    -Aidan Northington

  10. divnae September 19, 2011 at 7:16 pm #

    Ethnography is defined as “al or part of the culture or life of a person, or a community, by identifying and describing the practices or beliefs of a person or community. In simplest terms, ethnography is learning how to interact with people different than you. This excludes changing the people being observed. That would not be ethnography.

    There are a few problems that could be encountered with ethnography, because of the fact that you should not change the people being observed. Tierney accused Chagnon of changing the Yanomami negatively because he gave them goods. These goods caused more warfare, probably more than ever before. Tierney also accused Chagnon of staging their behavior to sell more films.

    James Neel was accused by Tierney also. Neel made the measles epidemic worse, rather than better, through his attempt to fight it. He was also accused of not helping them as much as he could. The problem of ethnography here is changing the situation you enter, which should not be done.

    There are several problems an ethnographic film can run into. For example, the presence of a camera could make someone feel self-conscious. Or, the filmmakers can direct people to act differently on camera. In that way, ethnography cannot be preserved.

    There are also technological things that can be done to the film or photograph to make it different than it normally is. Shots can be edited or cut. The truthfulness of the photo or film can be changed in these ways. It is not the normal behavior of people. Those are the problems of an ethnographic film.

  11. skm0263 September 19, 2011 at 7:18 pm #

    1) Ethnography describes some or all parts of culture of a person. Ethnography also seeks to discover, observe and describe life of a community. Ethnography is also identifying and describing the practices of that person. As it identifies and describes the practices of that person it also describes the beliefs of that person or community.

    2) The Yamomami Controversy is pretty much the accusations made by the investigative journalist Patrick Tierney against James Neel, a geneticist, and Napoleon Chagnon, an anthropologist. The accusations are about their fieldwork among the Yanomami, a group of Amazonian Indians. The Yanomami are the best known indian group around the world because of this controversy. All of the accusations were from a book that Patrick Tierney wrote. He accused James Neel of making the measles epidemic worse, instead of better, through the actions he took to fight the epidemic and that Neel could have done more than he did to help the Yanomami. Teirney made a lot more accusations towards Napoleon Chagnon, one of them were that he thought that Chagnon made it seem that the group was more violent than what they really are.

    There are lots of dangers of ethnography. As stated in my last paragraph, one danger of ethnography is that many people will not agree or approve what you put in front of them. There are many things that people or a community does that can be misinterpreted by an outsider to the culture. You as an ethnography can make a mistake and it can make your project seem like its something else.

    3) There are many problems of ethnographic films or pictures. One problem that they have and it can relate to many other things is that people may misunderstand the picture. The problem with that might be that people do not take time to understand the picture. People do not pay attention to the clothes, the faces, the background and the surroundings of the photo or the film. If you think about it a picture is worth a thousand words so a movie should be worth much more.

    The truthfulness of a photograph can be affected by many things. The truthfulness is very important because people may not understand the picture and what it means.

  12. sik9490 September 19, 2011 at 7:19 pm #

    Part 1. Ethnography is when you are describing another culture when you observe it. You are identifying the culture taking notes and asking questions. You have to be a good listener so they can give you all the information without you interrupting them. The study gets in depth with their life.

    Part 2. The Yanomami are the best known group of Amazonian Indians. James Neel, Napoleon Chagnon, and Patrick Tierny were the main people surrounded by this controversy. Chagnon is known to be the one to make the Yanomami a famous tribe around the world, but also using it for his own fame. The controversy about this tribe is that Patrick Tierny made accusations against James Neel. One was that Neel made the measles epidimic worse rather than making it better, and that Neel didn’t help the Yanomami as much as he could have at the time.
    Tierny also makes accusations against Chagnon that he is misrepresenting the Yanomami tribe in a way that what they do is wrong. I would say that a dangerous part of ethnography is that you can interpret a certain culture and actually comparing it to your own culture making it sound like they’re culture and what they do is not not okay. You also cannot distribute goods to a tribe because that defeats the whole purpose of observing the tribe and seeing what they do everyday, when you are not there.

    Part 3. It is said in the article that a picture can be worth one thousand words, meaning that just one picture can say so much about the culture it is showing. A problem with ethnographic films is that there parts usually being edited in the film, so the film is not showing what is actually happening in the culture because parts are being cut out, or the order of scenes being changed. This does not always catch people’s eye’s so sometimes people are not watching what is real. The ethnographer may want to just have their video show that what they are trying to prove about the culture is right, even if they are not. That is one of the problems with ethnography because the film is only shown by one persons view.
    Narration is necessary because pictures and visual’s being shown do not always explain themselves. But with narration you can actually understand what you are watching in the ethnographic film. When filming someone and their life, it’s important to film the whole picture, and not try zooming into their faces because hands and arms and other parts of the body hat should be shown in the whole picture are what tell a lot about what they are doing. If you film while showing the setting and background, it shows the viewers what kind of place they live in and they will be able to understand it better.

    -Irie Kawasaki

  13. sar9647 September 19, 2011 at 7:20 pm #

    I deleted my response on accident and there is 6 minutes left of class, so I am going to shorten it for the sake of time. Sorry.

    1.) I think that ethnography is the study of the a culture on the field and learning about their customs through a up close and personal way. Ethnography is interpreted through the interaction of yourself to someone else form another culture and sharing your knowledge of the world with one another. That, in my opinion is the definition of ethnography.

    2.) The Yanomami controversy is about many issues concerning their culture but mainly is about the way anthropologist’s perceive the yanomami tribe. They are sometimes shown as primitive, war-hungry, secluded, and much more. The Yanomami also have an opinion about how they are portrayed, sometimes falsely, in books and documentaries. All in all, the Yanomami Controversy is very complicated and needs to be settled.

    3.) There are many disruptions of the yanomami culture perceived in Ethnographic films. Ethnographers can easily focus on one part of a society and film only that part, rather then filming every part of the society that they can. The Yanomami are shown in one way and are given a script to read off of, which shows them in a different light rather than their own.

  14. ssm7369 September 20, 2011 at 1:00 am #

    Part one: Ethnography is about describing a culture or part of it of a person or a group of people. By documenting it, and recording your analysis to get a better comprehension of it. You do this by becoming a part of it. You integrate yourself and practice their beliefs until you feel that you understand their culture. Basically, that you have identified and described everything that you possibly could have.
    Part two: The Yanomami Controversy is just about the accuracy of the study on this culture. Patrick Tierney accused James Neel and Napoleon Chagnon of several things. With Neel, Tierney believed that Neel didn’t do enough to help the Yanomami. Instead, that he made the measles epidemic worse and that many deaths occurred on his account.
    With Chagnon, Tierney felt that especially with the Yanomami violence, that he was depicted them differently then the kind of people that they actually were. In Tierney’s opinion they shouldn’t have been labeled as “The Fierce people. Also, the fact that he was trading goods with certain people from the tribe caused more warfare then ever before. Finally, he believed that Chagnon film was staged and that they really didn’t show the actual behaviors and lifestyles because they weren’t like what they appeared to be in the film. Ethnography dangers can be the research and analysis you come up with can be questioned and also that you might be accused of making the tribe worse.
    Part three: There are many problems with the ethnographic film. Back then, we didn’t have much technology to rely on so the quality of films weren’t that great. But as we grew more modern, we lost our true natural feel about films. Also, visual words in the film can be distracting and at times not related. Finally, zooming can be a great disrespect to certain cultures. Sometimes the hands and feet are really important as nonverbal channels but in other cultures, it’s not so important.
    The truthfulness of a photograph is very important. A photograph’s truthfulness can be affected though. The presence of the camera can make people self-conscious and can make them change their usual behavior. Staging scenes or posing people alters the reality of the photograph. Also, one direction filming or turning the camera only for a few moments may not capture all the action. But editing can really challenge if your photograph is truthful or not. Including or cutting shots is a big part of it but comparing and contrasting shots from different times and places at the same time or a montage creates untied action that may not even have been there.

  15. sdb8321 September 20, 2011 at 1:34 am #

    Ethnography is the study of describing all or a part of a culture, which includes a person or a community’s way or living such as practices and beliefs that they follow. Ethnography is characterized as being a description that allows a person to understand a person’s way of life. A anthropologist conducts interviews, interacts and researches what they are experiencing and viewing in their setting.

    The Yanomami controversy centers around accusations by a journalist named Patrick Tierney against James Neel concerning the Yanomami Tribe. Tierney claimed that Neel made the measles epidemic worse than better through the actions he took to help solve it. He also accused Neel of not doing enough to help the Yanomami people.
    He also made accusations against Chagon, claiming that he misrepresented the levels of violence in the tribe. He also accused him of being in charge of the warfare that began to occur because of his distribution of goods.

    Based on the article and the videos that I have seen in class there are many dangers of Ethnography. An anthropologist interacts and interpretations of a culture can negatively be shown in our society based on their morals. If an anthropologist lets his morals influence the way he/she presents information it will cause more problems than gain support. As a result more people will began to show hatred towards a particular culture because of their new understanding towards a tribe or group of people even if its a wrong interpretation. if Chagon actually did say that the Yanomami people were more violent than they really were he sent out the idea that the Yanomami people are dangerous which could have lead to people living near this tribe not wanting them to continue to reside there, ultimately it could have resulted in them losing their homes.

    Some problems with Ethnographic films are that only people that wore exotic clothing and performed interesting dancing were considered when filming (This is a problem because i doesn’t give a full overview about what happens in their environment. It forces you to learn more about the differences than the similarities). People were also brought from the homes to be filmed.( By taking people out of their original environments they will ultimately act very different compared to how they would act in their homes.The Presence of the camera may also make people behave differently.

    The truthfulness of a picture can affect the way the people who are seeing the photo examine the culture. If an anthropologist was to take a picture of a tribe killing animals and people then other people not apart of that culture would view this society as barbaric.Pictures are a large contribution to the way people see and understand things.If photos are intentionally planned it doesn’t display the true culture of a society or community.

    -Deniece Brown

  16. sjs5280 September 20, 2011 at 1:44 am #

    Ethnography is the attempt to describe a culture from the eyes of that culture. However, this can only be done if one decides to emerge into said culture, without completely changing what is natural to them. Ethnography requires a person to not be afraid to part take in activities that might not be native to them. Ethnography also requires a person to ask open ended questions to the people native to that culture and be willing to listen and understand their point of view.

    The Yanomami controversy includes James Neel, Napoleon Chagnon and Patrick Tierney. Tierney has made accusations in his book Darkness in El Dorado. However, his most controversial comments were about Neel and Chagnon. Tierney stated that Neel has contributed to the spreading of measles by not taking any actions to help fight against the epidemic. Then Tierney states that once the measles epidemic got worse, Neel did not do as much as he could have to help. Tierney accuses Chagnon of misunderstanding the Yanomami culture, saying that their level of violence is higher than what it actually is. Tierney also states that because of Chagnons abundance of food, this caused warfare in the Yanomami because of their attempt to gain food. Tierney also accuses Changnon of staging a lot of the award winning footage he’s gotten during his trip.

    After watching the videos and reading the articles, theres are many hidden dangers of ethnography. One of the dangers is changing the way a culture acts and reacts to each other. For example, giving weapons to a tribe to help them find food and to overall make life for them a bit easier as a thanks for them putting up with you living there. This may prove to be bad because they were given a weapon they wouldn’t normally have which leads to them later having a war they wouldn’t have had otherwise. Another danger of ethnography is adding on to current problems they have there. Maybe being there and taking up their food rations is more than they can take. Then they will have a food shortage, maybe even going to the extent of dying out because they may not have enough materials to sustain themselves.

    A ethnographic film that is taken of other cultures only shows what is there and can jeopardize the truthfulness in the film. A possibility that can prove to be a problem is the staging of a culture and what is there. There is also taking pictures of one thing and not another which is bias and selective. Another selective and bias factor that messes with the truth of a photo or film which is the editing process. This process gives “value” to certain scenes over another. Ethnographic film can also depict real actions and things happening but mixes up footage to make it seem more interesting but at the same time not giving the whole truth.
    The truthfulness of a photograph depends on the knowledge behind it and how one interprets the picture. It gives much room for inferences as to why something in the picture occurs and can be expressed in many different ways almost like an ethnographic film. The anthropologist taking footage of the people native to a culture are almost immediately seen as outsiders making the native person feel awkward and uncomfortable. This will limit the way the native people may normally act in front of each other.

  17. stl4971 September 20, 2011 at 2:33 am #

    Timothy Lee
    Part 1:
    I think that ethnography is the study of customs that individuals exhibit and their culture. Ethnography is the unbiased truth of someones way of life, ethnography has no place for you personal opinions or beliefs. One must immerse him or her self in the culture they are studying but at the same time just following what the norms are in order to have an accurate understanding of the culture.

    Part 2;
    There were several accusations aimed toward James Neel and Napoleon Chagnon in their studies of the Yanomami people. The Accusations against Neel was that he started a measles outbreak among the Yanomami people. This was not the only accusation made against Neel, he was also blamed for letting the outbreak of measles get out of hand. Instead of helping the Yanomami with medical supplies he did nothing as the Yanomami people died. Neel did wrong by bringing the measles to the Yanomami but did worse by letting them suffer for his mistakes.
    Patrick Tierney also accuses Napoleon Chagnon for started wars, scripting interviews, and completely changing the Yanomami way of life. Chagnon traded massive amounts of good to the Yanomami people. His trade fueled war amongst the Yanomami people, they now obtained better weapons and had motive to attack other villages. Napoleon was also accused of scripting his interviews with the Yanomami tribesman. Tierney does not believe that the interviews conducted by Chagnon are authentic. He beliefs that Chagnon gave the tribesman a script to follow in order for his field work to become a great success.

    Part 3:
    Some issues with ethnographic films is editing, editing a film make it unauthentic. Journalist decide what you see opposed to what is real. In the ethnographic movies made all were edited, others more than some. Those who chose to cut out whole segments and replace them with irrelevant clips of the same people do not show the true culture of the people they study. Ethnographers may concentrate on only the violence in a tribe but in reality maybe it is a rare occurrence that they show aggressive behavior, it is just that the ethnographer chose to only show you those parts.

  18. qcorrine September 20, 2011 at 3:02 am #

    1)The ethnography is that seeks to describe all or part of the culture or life of a person, or a community, by identifying and describing the practices or beliefs of that person or community. It is also depends on telling people who they are, the way they eat, or the way they behave, and it is study for the different culture of humanality.

    2)The Yamomami are the best-known Amazonian Indian group in the world .They have become a symbol in the West of what life is like beyond the pale of “civilization.” And the Yamomami Controversy is through the accusation that one of the three individuals, Patrick Tierney , he looks in the different site between the other two persons, James Neel and Napolen Chagon. Firstly, Tierney thinks that Neel helped make the measles epidemic worse through the actions he took to fight the epidemic and also that Neel could have done more than he did to help the Yanomami at this time.Some of this accusation has been dismissed by most of the people.
    About Chagon, first of all, Tierney disagree about Chagon misrepresented key dynamics because he thinks The Yanomami were not “the fierce people” depicted by Chagnon, secondly, during Chagon’s research, he helped cause through his enormous distribution of goods, which stimulated warfare among the Yanomami as perhaps never before.. Third, Tierney accuses about the film which Chagon made,should staged productions in which Yanomami followed preestablished scripts.
    The dangerous of ethnography i think is that because some of the cultures are different, some people may against or have the different site with you, also because your opinion is not represent for everybody, so you have to make clearly about your own opinion.

    3)Because the film makers always want to give the people to see the best scenes or pictures of the film, so one important is that facticity of the film and pictures, for more is , some of the film maker want to let more people to watch or have the good view for the film , they may put some fake things adding into the film and that is definitely broken the truth of film itself.And the film maker can shoot in many scenes to let people see more.

  19. ssp8114 September 20, 2011 at 3:19 am #

    Part one:
    Ethnography is to searches to explain all or part of a culture. To recognize the other cultures living conditions. Including, participating in what you would call activities but to them is the way of life, learning the language and how to speak it, practicing
    beliefs/religion, tasting foods, and more.
    Part two:
    The Yanomami controversy was to be focused on a limited theme. Its a study that takes others into a ethical heart of social science. The accusations were made against Neel and Chagnon were that, Neel helped make the measles epidermic worse, rather than better, through the actions he took to fight the epidemic. And he didn’t really help the Yanomami at the time. Chagnon misrepresented key dynasties of Yanomami society, particularly their level of violence.
    The dangers of ethnography is while being in foreign countries or different states, you can get injured, beat up, killed if not categorized as a visitor but rather a spy, you can possibly be killed. If they feel they are being laughed at, they might want to fight. If you don’t go to these other places with a more than a three to four crew members you can be out numbered and taken advantage of. You are taking risks by trying there foods without knowing for sure if they put poison in it because deep down they didn’t like and didn’t show that they didn’t like you.
    Part three:
    The five ways that ethnographic films were a problem was:
    -The presence of the camera, or the film crew, can make people self-conscious, altering their usual behavior, perhaps evoking mugging for the camera.
    -The filmmakers can stage scenes, or pose people, to get more effective or more aesthetic shots, in the process altering reality.
    -The photography being done is selective, pointing the lens in one direction, not filming all other directions, or turning the camera on for only a few moments, not capturing the rest of the action.
    -Editing: including or cutting shots, is selective.
    -Editing: creating an implied unity of action that may not have existed.

    Salina Phillip and Yasmin S.

  20. sks7033 September 21, 2011 at 2:30 am #

    Kathy Salce

    Part One: What is Ethnography? How is ethnography characterized?

    Ethnography seeks to understand a culture or person by fully immersing in there cultural life. You must identify the moral and beliefs of the community and part of your task is to try to analysis the reasoning behind their culture, and how it differs from modern societal ways of life. Ethnography involves some fieldwork, outside research, observations, and interviews. Ethnographers believe that you can obtain hardcore analysis of a culture by just observing or reading about in a textbook. They truly believe that its better if you evaluate people n their natural settings and homes of those they choose to study. Those who choose to study different cultures must have an open mind and cant be characterized as ethnocentric person. In this field of study, believe that your society is better wont get you anywhere in your research and blocks out some fundamental ideas that a person with an open mind could observe. Ethnography is characterized by being able listening to others and letting them tell their story without judgment or interruptions. It is also characterize by constant participation in group practices and rituals if you belief it will bring you a deeper sense of their culture. Participation in there daily rituals is vital to fully understanding the culture, and understand the why they act in the manner in which they do.

    What is the Yanomami controversy? What accusations were made against Neel and Chagnon? Based on this article, and the videos you have watched in class, what are the dangers of ethnography?

    The Yanomami controversy entitles Patrick Tierney making accusations against James Neel, a famous human genetic. Tirney accused Neel of many things. (1) Neel made the measles epidemic in Yanomami worse because of the actions he took to try and fight it. (2) Neel could have done made more of an effort to stop the epidemic but choose not to. Chagnon was accused of miss interpreting some aspects of the Yanomami culture and society concerning their degree of violence. Chagnon was also accused of staging of the films he helped produce and won some awards for it. These videos did not correctly display the Yanomami culture; rather they had set scripts in which they needed to follow. The staging of the film made it possible for Chagnon to express what he wanted the world to see about the Yanomami as oppose to the truth behind their society.

    Ethnography is a field of study that can entitle many dangers environment for researchers, depending on the society and its culture. Some cultures are exotic and have a different spectrum of ideas and morals. This can create dangers situations because there beliefs might create harmful circumstances for the researchers. Just like with every job, there are risks that come along. Ethnographers face danger within the society because outsiders can be more susceptible and may get taken advantage of.

    Part Three: What are the problems of ethnographic film? How can the truthfulness of a photograph be affected?

    The problem of the ethnographic film is that sometimes the way that they interpret society made not be the way they that society want to be seen. There are also other factors that can affect the truthfulness and sincerity of the films displays. The fact that there is a camera filming them can affect their behavior because as humans we do care what others think. And may alter our behavior without noticing. There for the films may not be as accurately interpreted as it could be. Filmmakers can stage scenes and later the natural predicament and environment of the culture. Staging scenes provides an inadequate representation of actions because as oppose to what normally happens, they filmmaker decides what he wants to portray.

    Other problems with taking pictures are that in some way or another the simple act of taking pictures is selective. Meaning you choose what the audience sees and what he doesn’t see. When film making the act of moving the camera to see one thing as oppose to another as well as the amount of time you display something shows the viewers what the message of the video might be. Also, editing a film and cutting out parts you want is selective and therefore defeats the purpose of correctly exposing a culture or society in its normal state.

  21. Amanda N September 21, 2011 at 3:05 am #

    1. Ethnography explains a culture through looking at their practices and beliefs. As we watch people living their daily lives, we understand what they do and why they do it. An accurate ethnography involves strictly facts about a culture and no opinions or ethnocentric ideas. It is important to not provide another culture with things from the anthropologist’s culture.

    2. Tierney accused Neel of spreading the measles epidemic within the Yanomami society. He also accused Neel of not helping the Yamomami people that were dying from the measles. I don’t know why he came to their culture before receiving a check-up. He would have saved the lives of many. Once he realized he had the measles and was spreading it, he should have taken himself out of the community until he was well again. The accusations were dismissed, but they shouldn’t have been.
    Tierney also accused Chagnon of misinterpreting the Yanomami lifestyle. Chagnon portrayed the Yanomomi as hostile and violent people and they are actually one of the most peaceful groups in the Amazon. Chagnon also gave them weapons and goods they did not previously have which caused dispute amongst their people. Finally, Tierney accused him of scripting them to act a certain way for his film. All of these accusations made it clear that Patrick Tierney believed Neel and Chagnon didn’t act appropriate as anthropologists.

    3. Ethnographic films can portray cultures falsely and fabricate their lifestyles. When we read words about a culture, we use our imagination to see them. However, once we see photographs and films, we can all see the same thing differently. Ethnographic films can alter the truths of a culture simply by the choices of the cameramen, director, narrator, and/or editors. Separately, each of these people may seem to make subtle choices that would have no affect on the film, but altogether their decisions make a large impact.
    The cameramen can film one direction, one area, or one group and miss the diversity within a culture. In addition, people may change their behavior with cameramen present. Directors can script their film to be match a certain tone and change what the culture is like in reality. Narrators cause viewers to bring their attention to only the things they point out and not the full picture. Finally, editing makes it easiest to change the reality of a culture and make a film only show what the editors and directors want people to see. Films and photographs instantly turn from views of reality to interpretations of someone’s life. If we only show people selective photos, the reality of a society can be overlooked. For example, if we only show a group during a fight or wartime, it would seem as if this is a violent culture, and that may be far from the truth.

  22. Joe Simone November 7, 2011 at 3:47 pm #

    1.)Ethnography is the study of a culture by looking at their beleifs and what they do in their daily lives. Ethnography is used to understand different cultures and their beleifs. Not only do people study this to find out another persons culture, they do this in order find out what they eat, how they live, what they beleive in, and what happens in an ordinary day of that culture.
    The yanomami controversy is basically a man named Patrick Tierny accusing two other men(Napoleon Chagnon and James Neel) of not helping the Yanomami when they could’ve helped them. Tierny accused James Neel of not only making the epidemic worse, but not doing more to help save the yanomami. Although this recieved a lot of attention it was forgotten by the public and they moved on to a different accusation. Tierny also accused Napoleon Chagnon of not representing the Yanomami in the right way. Tierny
    also said that Chagnon made the Yanomami more violent then they have evr been before. Tierny also accused Chagnon of staging his films. He said that Chagnon gave the yanomami scripts instead of getting “real footage” from them. This resulted in a best .Ethnography can be dangherous at times. It may cause people to turn on one another and make false accusations too.

  23. josephsimone November 7, 2011 at 5:55 pm #

    1) Ethnograohy is the study of another culture beliefs and their society. Just by studying these other cultures people can understand what that culture beleives, what they eat, and bascially what they do on an ordinary day in their culture.This is an interesting study and an easy way to learn abot a different culture.
    2)A man named Patrick Tierny accused two men in his book “Darkness in El Dorado” of not helping the yanomami and giving out false research/informatioin about the native tribe.Tierney accused James Neel of not helping the yanomami when they needed it. Not only that but Tierney also said that Neel only made the epidemic worse. Patrick Tierney also acussed another person by the name of Napoleon Chagon. Tierney stated that Chagnon made the yanomami look more violent then they actually were. Chagon was also acussed of staging certain films in his research. Instead of gettting real raw footage he gave out scripts to the yanomami. Ethnography can be dangerous because it can give people an incorrect view of acertain culture.
    3)There are many problems in Ethnography films. It all depends on the people filming and editing the final film. The way the people who are filming want to you to see it is the way your going to see it. They will give you a one sided view on the culture which is basically just their opinion. They can choose to put in different shots ans angles to make what they beleive come true in the final film. Also just having the camera crew there is also a big distraction. It the article it states, some people might feel self conscious when there are people watching them and can definitley alter their behavior. Basically the way the anthropologist feels about the certain culture is the way he/she will portray it in their film. This will also cause you to look at the culture in the same way giving you no chance of actually understanding what the culture is really like.

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