He is one of the main exponents, along with Radcliffe-Brown and Pritchard, of functionalism. • Functionalism • Concept of culture • Father of ethnography – Trobriand Islands • Field work • Participant observation
• Functionalism He is one of the main exponents, together with Radcliffe-Brown and Pritchard, of functionalism. That is the current that originates in Great Britain that clarifies the function of culture by linking it to the needs of man; as a set of socially organized responses to basic human needs, culture has the function of protecting the species. Theoretical point of view developed by Malinowski, which clarifies the function of culture by linking it to human needs; as a set of socially organized responses to basic human needs, culture has the function of protecting the species. Malinowski develops what is called field work: From 1914 to 1918 he stayed several times in the Trobriand Islands (off the coast of New Guinea) where he developed his experience in field research. Its functionalist interpretation of the concept of culture For goats what culture is, it is necessary to connect it to biological man and his needs.Culture is a set of organized responses to fundamental human needs, which, being of a cultural and non-biological type, as it happens instead in the animal world, they can vary from one population to another. • Concept of culture According to Malinowski, in order to understand what culture is, it is necessary to connect it to biological man and his needs, that is, it is necessary to understand his function. • Father of ethnography – Trobriand Islands He is defined as the father of ethnography: the origin of the modern tradition of ethnographic research can be traced back to the work of Malinowski. He stayed in the Trobriand Islands (New Guinea), immersing himself in the social life of the indigenous people, trying not to stop at appearances and to understand the social function of all customs. , which characterized the dawn of anthropology, Malinowski was the first to introduce field research, which turns out to be a turning point for anthropology (thanks to it the foundations of modern anthropology are built). According to Malinowski, in fact, it can only be known through direct experience.He was the first to introduce field research: he went from 1915 to 1918 in the Trobriand Islands, coming into direct contact with the Trobrianders and being involved in customs, traditions, traditions of their culture. The purpose of ethnography is to grasp the native’s point of view, grasping his vision of his world. With Malinowski anthropology became increasingly interested in representing a culture in the most complete way possible. • Participant observation It contains in itself an objective and subjective component. The aim is to achieve a scientific objectivity typical of the sciences. He introduced what is called participatory observation. It consists of a single researcher who spends a long period of time among the people he intends to study, mastering their language. By immersing himself in their daily activities, he aims to obtain as complete an understanding as possible of their cultural meanings and their social structures. The participating observer must possess a certain neutrality and develop an objective description of the phenomena regardless of theoretical perspectives. We must let them do the talking. For Malinowski, direct observation in the field is the only reliable source of ethnographic information. From a methodological point of view, participatory observation encompasses two poles: that of observation, which requires a certain detachment on the part of the researcher, and that of participation, which implies a form of involvement that allows you to take part in the life of chlorine that are being studied.
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