Re: Being "ethnicized"

Sam Ball (Sam_Ball@NPS.GOV)
Tue, 13 Dec 1994 07:41:52 -0500

>Have you become "ethnicized" by your fieldwork? Do you live/act/think
>differently as a result? Is there anything in the lit on this process?
>I'm not talking about the classic slur "going native"; I find that I
>welcome people to my house differently, I express thanks differently, I
>even drive differently as a result of my experiences.
As an archaeologist that began my carrear in a foreign land (admittedly in an
American School in a foreign land) I deffinately observed myself and others
being "altered" by the experiences we passed through. The school that I
attended had programs where students from schools in the States would attend
the school for a quarter or a year. It was always interesting to watch the
progression these students went through. They would universally complain about
where they were and the "lacks" they suffered; yet, upon return to the States
they would be uncomfortable for a period of time while they re-adjusted to the
culture Stateside. We refered to this a culture shock; although, the second
half of what I described was usually ignored. The cultural differences that
sparked these kinds of reactions were often glaring, but the differences that
created the culture shock on return were often very subtile and would have an
almost subliminal effect.

Sam Ball