This 6 page paper discuses how Bronislaw Malinowski's field-work methods, for anthropology and ethnography, with the Trobriand Islanders differed from Purnima Mankekar’s field work methods in India. The bibliography cites 4 sources.
Name of Research Paper File: TS14_TEMalinowski.rtf
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is only when boundaries are pushed by that great discoveries can be made that will add to the understanding of the topic. When looking at anthropology and ethnography two names
stand out as pushing the boundaries in terms of the way fieldwork too place. Bronislaw Malinowski and Purnima Mankekar undertook their research three quarters of a century apart, and using
very different methods but each used a fieldwork methodology that could be seen as innovative. By looking at their methods and comparing them the value of each can be appreciated.
Malinowski may be seen as interesting as when he started out his methodology was to rely on the primary research of others, using surveys and reports that had been
put together by travellers such as missionaries or government officials located overseas (Ember and Ember, 2002, Womack, 1997). The usual method of study of natives by other anthropologist when they
undertook fieldwork was to have them brought into offices at colonial outposts and use interpreters in order to understand the interviews (Ember and Ember, 2002). Malinowski realised this
was a flawed methodology and it was this recognition that lead to his unique approach and use of an immersed approach and the development of the functionalist approach in social
sciences. When developing his methodology he considered the flaws of the existing approaches and argued that to understand the native population being studied it would be necessary to learn
the language, eliminating the need for an interpreter and also to study the natives in their natural environment by living with them, this was extremely radical at the time and
was to become known as participant observation (Ember and Ember, 2002). This approach for ethnographic fieldwork was developed when he was undertaking his work with the Trobriand Islands initially