Thu, 13 Apr 1995 17:53:12 +1200

A brief discussion regarding the nature of ethos.
I would apreciate any comments, opinions or
suggestions that it raises amongst the Anthro-l recipients.

Presently I am working on a thesis the is concerned with
modelling ethos. We all recognise ethos in the colloquial sense
and refer to it when talking about others (groups, professions,
nations etc) - it is the characteror disposition of these
groups. This however is a very in substantial and subjective
notion that appears to have had little disscusion or research
since Gregory Bateson's 'NAVEN' in 1936.
Epstien refers briefly to the concept in his 1978 "Ethos and
Identity' but appears to have simply accepted the dictionary
definition and colloquial notion without extensive analysis. It
is worth noting that this is not quite the position that Bateson

Has anyone else attemped to model ethos, develop methods for
analysing it as a concept in practice?

Is "ethos" simply one of those things that is assumed when it
comes to writing ethnography? ie. we know we represented them
right because they are recogised within our wriings.

John Waldmann
Dept Anthropology
Auckland University NZ