Bronislaw Malinowski’s importance to Cultural Anthropology: Bronislaw Malinowski has made important contributions to the field of anthropology, especially during the discipline’s formative years. Though qualified to be an economist, he brought his best intellectual resources to bear on anthropological study, beginning with studying social exchange patterns among Australian aborigines…
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In the documentary videos related to Malinowski perused for this essay, one could see his powers of observation and synthesis. The rest of this essay will summarize the importance of the man and his works to the field of cultural anthropology. Malinowski’s ethnography of the Trobriand Islands made an immediate impact on anthropological circles. His description of the officialdom and hierarchy under Kula ring went on to become a cornerstone work in the realm of cultural anthropology. He paid particular attention to the operation of reciprocity and exchange in social groups. A key to his success is his sense of adventure, which is a pre-requisite to anyone involved in fieldwork. Along with Margaret Mead, Malinowski can be said to have pioneered and mastered fieldwork for anthropological projects. The methods employed by him for fieldwork, including ‘participatory observation’, are now established as fundamental to anthropological research. (Cravens, 2010, p.301) It is a symbol of Bronislaw Malinowski’s scholarly fame that many eminent anthropologists from his next generation took his tutelage and guidance. These included Hortense Powdermaker, Meyer Fortes, Raymond Firth, etc. Firth, in particular, had gone on to write detailed treatises on Malinowski’s works. Malinowski’s legend continues to hold firm even today, though later evolution in anthropological thought has affected it a little. “He has continued to be a great name in anthropology. But while his reputation as a superb field-worker has been maintained, his fame as a really great teacher in the Socratic tradition has been allowed to fade, and his achievement in creating a new and enduring approach to anthropology has not been properly understood. Without him, the aridities of the Kulturkreislehre and the fantasies of pan-Egyptianism would doubtless have in due course been corrected and overcome. But for the younger generation of anthropologists in Europe, at least, he fought that battle and won it by the end of the 'twenties'.” (Troy, 1998, p.129) Of all the contributions made by Malinowski, his ideas related to ethnographic research is the most well-known. He approached the study of social systems through solid methodology and theory. It is not surprise then that one of the documentary films about his life and work is titled ‘Off the Verandah’, for he brought anthropology off the veranda and got knee-deep in fieldwork. In other words, the hands-on approach to studying cultural anthropology is one of his most valued contributions. He emphasized the importance of such ‘detailed participant observation’ for understanding distant cultures and social systems. He inspired a whole generation of anthropologists through these insightful and inspiring lectures. After his appointment as a lecturer in Social Anthropology in 1922, he gave a series of short courses on such topics as ‘Early Beliefs and Social Differentiation’, ‘Social Organization of Australian Aborigines’, and ‘Economics of Primitive Peoples’. His seminar on Primitive Mentality ranks as equally important. His importance as a cultural anthropologist is further affirmed by the fact that he travelled far and wide in the European Continent giving lectures in Geneva, Vienna, Rome, Oslo, etc. His legacy and pre-eminence is registered by his appointment to
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Name Course Instructor Date Cultural Anthropology On the side of culture, South Korea has a lot to offer. This ranges from people, beliefs, traditions, culinary arts and hand crafts. It is due to these aspects that the South Korean culture is immensely fascinating.
Name: Instructor: Task: Date: Cultural Anthropology Cultural anthropology is a branch of anthropology that deals with cultural issues of a people. On that note, these cultural matters entail how customs and traditions play a fundamental role in influencing the survival strategies of such natives.
Additionally, in studying behavioral aspects of a group of people, there will be flexibility in viewing it. Before cultural relativism was brought in limelight, people viewed cultural practices to undergo evolution (Moser and Carson 23-69).
Even today, discussions still takes place between animal scientists and cultural anthropologists on whether culture is only for man or for animals as well.
However, in Anthropology, the concept of culture is already essential for centuries. Edward Tylor, the pioneer English anthropologist proposed that cultures are systems of human behaviour and thought that obey natural laws and can be studied scientifically (Kottak 62).
He earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy, Physics and Mathematics from the University of Krakow and a Ph.D. in Science from the London School of Economics. He was awarded an honorary doctoral degree from Harvard University.
His first field study was in the Trobriand Islands in Oceana where he researched the natives' social interactions.
Through a specific 'participant observation' process, Malinowski involved himself emerging into the actual lives of those he sought to study. Living in a community, learning language and culture, allowed Malinowski to understand functional ways of life in terms of how these individuals maintained a sociological union.
Cultural Anthropology is a branch of anthropology that deals with the study of cultures within a human society as a scientific model. It associates with the study of differences in cultures amongst the humans and encourages the anthropologists to “observe” the variations in cultures through field work, interviews, focus group discussions etc.
This means that they only had the chance to see a small part of what the world has to offer.
Nowadays, on the other hand, with globalization and modern transport systems, people can travel a lot more and experience different
Consequently, this yields to the extinction of the already existing local or minor subcultures/cultures of the people especially those living in the same physical environment. The existence of modern and effective technology has
Then, I heard one farmer looking for his co-farmer. They said the latter was still out in the field together with the other farmers getting some mole crickets.
I ask them what mole crickets are and what will they do to it. They described it as an
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