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Ethic and Emis Perspectives - Assignment Example

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Weil and Joe L. Kincheloe, in their book “Critical Thinking and Learning: an Encyclopedia for Parents and Teachers” (2004), children’s development, be it physical, cognitive and emotional may be understood in the context of the formative environment…
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Ethic and Emis Perspectives
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Etic and Emic Perspectives According to Danny K. Weil and Joe L. Kincheloe, in their book “Critical Thinking and Learning: an Encyclopedia for Parents and Teachers” (2004), children’s development, be it physical, cognitive and emotional may be understood in the context of the formative environment in which they are in. Educators may not fully understand children’s behaviors in school because they are unfamiliar to the different cultural norms by which the children were raised. They further stated that there are different tools of analysis from different disciplines that critical thinkers use. Included in these tools, the emic and etic criteria for evaluation, which anthropologists use, give a better understanding of children’s behavior. Etic concept is about “cross-cultural and more universal dimensions of human behaviors” (p 161). It demands a descriptive system valid for all cultures, with objects of comparisons operationalized as variables under investigation which include perception and thinking, aggression as outcome variables or socialization practices and school attendance as generating mechanisms (Helfrich, 132). Emic perspective considers “within-group characteristics” (Weil and Kincheloe, 161) where culture is an integral part of human behavior and not just an external factor. “The emic approach shows us that it is not only the subjects of the research who are culture-dependent, but also the whole system of psychological thought and its underlying assumptions” (Helfrich, 132-133).
In the article “Who is Bobby? Ideology and method in the discovery of a Down syndrome person’s competence” (1992), DA Goode said that emic analysis uses the “insider’s point of view” while etic analysis uses the “outsider’s perspective”. In the case of emic analysis, the focus is on what the subject tells about himself and his experiences, or from within the situation under study (Goode, 198) while in etic analysis, the focus is on what the professionals have observed. According to him, “etic frameworks are external to the situation under analysis” (Goode, 198).
In the book “Ability Profiling and School Failure”, through an observer’s eyes, at first glance, one can say that what Laura thinks of Jay is based on an emic perspective. Their everyday encounter in school should have been enough for Laura to have an insider’s view of Jay’s behaviors and idiosyncrasies and thus should have a better understanding of them. But as you read, you will see that in Laura’s opinion, Jay is "emotionally impaired”, and is slow to grasp the social and intellectual rules and regulations which exist in the learning environment or the classroom because of his ethnicity and social status (Collins, p 124). Laura’s perception of Jay is through an educator’s eyes and is an example of an etic perspective. Hers is a professional assessment taking into consideration Jay’s race and family history as sole basis and thus thinks Jay does not fit in the existing classroom culture. What Laura and Jay have is a non-personal level of interaction. Laura’s expectations are based on existing culture in the classroom, not being able to appreciate the culture from which Jay is coming from as an integral part of being himself. This is an example of what D.A. Goode said about Evans-Pritchard (1973) noting that it is not unusual for etic perspectives to lead to “fault finding”, while emic perspectives give a better sense of the “rationality, purpose, and efficiency of native behaviors” (Goode, 198). Laura’s perspective leads to her perception of Jay as emotionally impaired and a misfit in terms of “social and intellectual rules and regulations in the learning environment” (Collins, 130) and not “emphasize on the value and creativity” (Goode, 198) of Jay’s behavior.
Works Cited
Collins, Kathleen, M. Ability profiling and School Failure A Child’s Struggle to be Competent. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. 2003. Print
Goode, D. A. Who is Bobby? Ideology and method in the discovery of a down syndrome person’s competence 1992, in F.M. Ferguson, D.L. Ferguson and S.J. Taylor (eds), Interpreting Disability. A Qualitative Reader, N.Y.: Teachers College Press, Columbia University, 197-212. Print.
Helfrich, Hede. “Beyond the Dilemma of Cross-Cultural Psychology: Resolving the tension between Etic and Emic Approaches.” Culture Psychology 199; 5:131-153. n.d. Web. 29 January 2013.
Weil, Danny K. and Joe L. Kincheloe. Critical Thinking and Learning: an Encyclopedia for Parents and Teachers. Westport, CT. Greenwood Press, 2004. Print. Read More
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