Objectivity and Fieldwork Essay example

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Objectivity and Fieldwork
Researchers throughout the world most often conduct practical work in a all natural environment outside their laboratory or office in order to experience in firsthand what it is to live outside the society they have been exposed to all their lives, and integrate into another civilization that imposes cultural traditions and policies that the researcher may have never been imposed to in the past. These types of works or studies that ethnographers conduct are called fieldworks; and they help researchers learn the ways and customs of a certain group or kin outside a society. The researcher’s method of fully understanding the culture of the group of individuals they study is by integrating into their assemblage or
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In his work he presents in detail his methodological convictions, focusing on understanding the human behavior and social organization in a foreign culture. He believed that in order to understand the culture of the natives he needed to feel the native way of life. Throughout his work, Malinowski demonstrates to be more interested in the scientific scope of doing fieldwork, as he describes the methods and theories he used when trying to understand the Kula’s culture.
“What is then this ethnographer’s magic, by which he is able to evoke the real spirit of the natives, the true picture of the tribal life? As usual, success can only be obtained by a patient and systematic application of a number of rules of common sense and well-known scientific principles, and not by the discovery of any marvelous short-cut leading to the desired results without effort or trouble.” (Malinowski, 1923: 6)

According to Malinowski there was a certain technique when it came to performing a fieldwork, and that certain rules needed to be applied in order to be successful in understanding a native’s cultural aspect. Although both Malinowski and Abu-Ludghod present different approaches to fieldwork in their works due to their positionality in culture, they do share the same idea of them having to become one of the natives in order to understand the full aspect of their culture, however this entirely depends on their gender