Re: Naive question

Ted (
7 Dec 96 16:23:47 GMT

katherine petrie ( wrote:
: Ted ( wrote:
: ...
: > In cultural anthro, under what sort of circumstances would an 'emic'
: > description or analysis be preferable to an 'etic' description or
: > analysis, assuming both were available?
: What is this, take-home final exam time? ;^)

Nope. Actually, I'm studying anthro entirely on my own, in my free time,
gearing up for a full-time program. Like I said, I have no background,
but I would like to get into the field. No take-home finals; personal
interest. I hope you don't mind.

: One way to get started is to ask yourself: in what circumstances would
: *you* find an 'emic' or 'etic' analysis of your life preferable?

Rrr... I was asking about cultural anthro, not about my personal life.
But, if you want me to answer, I've always been better served by analyses
which might be called 'etic'; i.e. analyses (made by myself or others)
which stress the actual situation I'm in rather than how I _feel_ about
the situation. The few times I've taken an 'emic' approach, whether
deliberately or unwittingly, I've generally 'frozen up', and found myself
unwilling or unable to act.

So, in my personal life, an 'etic' analysis is preferable. So, in
cultural anthro (to restate the question), is there _any_ circumstance
under which an 'emic' approach is preferable to an 'etic' approach?

BTW, I'm not trying to make a point. I'm asking. I'm honestly confused
about these terms. Any answers would be most appreciated.