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Chapter 2 Researching Culture
MULTIPLE CHOICE. Choose the one alternative that best completes the statement or answers the question.
1. Culture shock occurs when
A an anthropologist finds that he/she learns the local language more easily than expected.
B you discover, to your surprise, that you really like living in another culture.
C a person has shifted from one culture to another.
D two different cultural groups compete with each other.
E all of the above.
Answer: C p. 35
2. In the Trobriand Islands, the British colonialists substituted which activity for local warfare?
B the kula
C village dances
D boat racing
Answer: E p. 32
3. Trobriand women’s most prized material items are
C shell necklaces.
D grass mats.
E none of the above: only Trobriand men have material goods of value.
Answer A p. 32
4. On the basis of his experience in the Trobriand Islands during World War I, Bronislaw Malinowski is
generally considered to be
A the “father” of participant observation.
B the founder of the etic approach.
C the first person to realize that no culture is more or less “civilized” than another.
D the first person to define the concept of culture.
E the first person to do fieldwork in his own culture.
Answer: A p. 28
5. Research that is guided by a hypothesis is called
Answer: B p. 36
6. One thing about which most cultural anthropologists agree is
A that anthropologists should study primarily people’s thoughts and ideas.
B that culture is genetically determined.
C the definition of culture.
D the importance of doing fieldwork.
E whether anthropological fieldwork should proceed inductively or deductively.
Answer: D p. 28
7. Compared to Malinowski’s research in the Trobriands, Weiner’s restudy addressed
A women’s lives.
B changing leadership patterns.
C the rise of HIV/AIDS.
D the decline of the kula trade.
E the high rate of suicide.
Answer: A p. 31
8. __________ is a cluster name for many indigenous peoples who live in the eastern Canadian Arctic.
C Sri Lankan
Answer: D p. 39
9. People’s naming of places is called
Answer: B p. 39
10. Inuit place naming is an example of
A indigenous knowledge.
B cultural relativism.
D clash of civilizations.
E leveling mechanism.
Answer: A p. 39
11. A major challenge for Richard Kurin, during his fieldwork in Pakistan, was
A learning proper rules of gift exchange.
B false role assignments.
C learning the language.
D not having a wife or children, which would have made him an “adult.”
E learning proper rules of greeting.
Answer: B p. 33
12. Given current globalization and the rarity of small, isolated cultures, many contemporary cultural
anthropologists have abandoned
B learning a non-Western language.
C the concept of holism.
D the concept of cultural relativism.
E participant observation.
Answer: C p. 29
13. When doing fieldwork, establishing rapport
A is easier for male than female anthropologists.
B is a waste of time when you could be conducting a survey instead.
C usually happens during the first week.
D makes life easier but doesn’t improve the quality of the information gathered.
E can involve exchanging gifts with the local people.
Answer: E pp. 33-34
14. According to the code of ethics of the American Anthropological Association, the anthropologist’s first
responsibility is to
A protect the people studied from harm related to the research.
B the agency that funded the study since they are the ones who paid for it.
C the home country of the anthropologist.
D the host government in the country where the research is conducted.
E the United Nations.
Answer: A p. 42
15. A key factor that helps in selecting a research project is
A finding a topic that has been neglected by previous researchers.
B a certain degree of intuition and luck.
C relating to a current issue of importance such as refugee movements.
D finding a place that was studied long ago and merits restudy.
E all of the above.
Answer: E pp. 30-31
16. During his fieldwork in Japan, Matthews Hamabata had a problem in terms of
A learning to appreciate the food.
B learning when to smile and when not to smile.
C having to sit for long periods of time with his legs folded underneath him.
D how to understand the meaning of a gift given to him and the appropriate response.
E how to get people to tell him the truth.
Answer: D p. 34
17. The Hawthorne effect refers to
A the tendency for men to answer questions on behalf of women.
B the stage that comes in fieldwork after culture shock when the researcher begins to feel comfortable.
C biases in the data when the researcher doesn’t know the language well.
D the tendency for respondents to avoid telling the truth about private matters.
E the tendency for respondents to change their behavior to correspond with the researcher’s interests.
Answer: E p. 36
18. The life history approach
A is more successful for women respondents than men since women have more time.
B has been rejected in cultural anthropology as too unreliable.
C was popular in the nineteenth century but has been abandoned as too time-consuming.
D is favored by anthropologists who seek quantitative data for large populations.
E none of the above.
Answer: E p. 37
19. A major catalyst to the adoption of a code of ethics by the American Anthropological Association was
A the decline of small, isolated populations and increase in research in “modern” cultures.
B the increasing proportion of anthropologists from non-Western cultures who supported a code of ethics.
C World War II.
D the Vietnam-American War.
E the realization that “native” peoples were learning to read and would be able to comment on
Answer: D pp. 41-42
20. The research method in cultural anthropology that involves living in a culture for an extended period while
gathering data is
A the inductive method.
B archival research.
C participant observation.
D life history.
E the interview method.
Answer: C p. 28
21. Interpretivist anthropologists tend to favor which kind of research approach?
Answer: A p. 41
22. An emic approach focuses on
A what people in the study area say about their own culture.
B gathering data on culturally shared rules for behavior.
C explanations for culture offered by members of that culture.
D events that have meaning for members of a particular culture.
E all of the above.
Answer: E p. 36
23. When Tony Whitehead, an African American anthropologist, did fieldwork in Jamaica, he was surprised
A he was unable to speak easily with the people because of his American English.
B people thought he was much older than he was.
C people expected him to bring his family with him and found it difficult to accept him as a lone male.
D people assigned him to a high status.
E none of the above: Whitehead’s fieldwork proceeded with no surprises since he was of the same “race” as
the people he was studying.
Answer: D p. 34
24. An ethnography is
A the main way cultural anthropologists present their findings about culture.
B a descriptive writing about a culture.
C an important aspect of anthropological research.
D all of the above.
E none of the above
Answer: D p. 41
TRUE/FALSE. Write ‘T’ if the statement is true and ‘F’ if the statement is false.
25. In the Trobriand Islands, kinship follows the female line.
Answer: TRUE p. 32
26. A major challenge facing the Trobriand Islanders today is the large number of western tourists.
Answer: FALSE p. 32
27. Many Institutional Review Boards now accept the possibility of informed oral consent in some research
Answer: TRUE p. 33
28. According to the ethical guidelines of the American Anthropological Association, undergraduate students
are not allowed to do anthropological fieldwork.
Answer: FALSE p. 31
29. One recommendation for improving fieldwork safety is that fieldworkers should obtain appropriate medical
Answer: TRUE p. 43
30. Deductive methods of research are more likely to collect quantitative data while the inductive approach
tends to emphasize qualitative data.
Answer: TRUE p. 36
31. During Christa Salamandra’s research in Damascus, Syria, some people suspected that she was a tax
Answer: FALSE pp. 33-34
32. Interpretivist anthropologists tend to collect etic data.
Answer: FALSE p. 36
33. Maria Catédra’s use of tape recording during her research in Spain revealed the importance of maintaining
Answer: TRUE p. 40
34. Some cultural anthropologists seek to reveal how a culture works by looking closely at one person’s life.
Answer: TRUE p. 37
35. Data that are numerical and are presented in charts and tables are called quantitative.
Answer: TRUE p. 44
36. One method of gathering data on people’s time allocation patterns is asking people to keep daily logs or
Answer: TRUE pp. 37-38
37. Dangers from the physical environment, social violence and war can affect fieldwork.
Answer: TRUE p. 43
38. Cultural anthropologists who use the interview method feel that only the open-ended interview provides
Answer: FALSE p. 36
39. Culture shock can occur when an anthropologist returns home as well as when he/she enters the field.
Answer: TRUE pp. 35
40. Gender is a less important microcultural factor in anthropological fieldwork than “race” or ethnicity.
Answer: FALSE pp. 34-35
41. The armchair approach in cultural anthropology came before the verandah approach.
Answer: TRUE p. 28
42. Damascus is one of the world’s oldest continually occupied cities.
Answer: TRUE p. 33
43. Annette Weiner’s fieldwork on women’s trading networks in the Trobriand Islands is an example of a
Answer: TRUE p. 31
44. Multi-sited research conducts fieldwork on a topic in more than one location.
Answer: TRUE p. 29
45. The rationale for developing the food product Go-Gurt was based on study of California people’s busy
Answer: TRUE p. 30
IDENTIFICATION/SHORT ANSWER. Write the word or phrase that best completes each statement or
answers the question.
46. The approach in cultural anthropology that focuses on what local people think or say is called __________,
while the outsider’s analysis is referred to as __________.
Answer: emic/etic p. 36
47. The goal of the Inuit Place Names Project is to __________
Answer: document climatically important information/indigenous knowledge/climate change p. 39
48. Men’s trading networks in the Trobriands are called __________ and they involve __________.
Answer: kula/exchanging valued armbands and necklaces/or everyday goods p. 32
49. Collaborative research involves anthropologists working with members of the study populations as
Answer: partners/teammates pp. 42-43
50. In the AAA Code of Ethics, the Association makes it clear that anthropologists’ ethical obligations to
people, species, and material are more important than the goal of seeking __________.
Answer: new knowledge p. 42
51. One step in anthropological fieldwork that comes before going to the field is __________.
Answer: project selection/funding the project/language learning/buying equipment/gaining permission from
officials/etc. pp. 33-34
52. Liza Dalby’s research among the geisha of Japan involved the study of a microculture based on which
Answer: gender p. 35
53. When an anthropologist has difficulty adjusting to a new culture and feels uneasy, unhappy and wishes to
go home, this condition is referred to as __________.
Answer: culture shock p. 35
54. __________ data are mainly words and description while __________ data are mainly numeric.
Answer: Qualitative/quantitative p. 41
55. One way that cultural anthropologists record their findings while in the field is in the form of __________.
Answer: field notes/notes/tape recordings/photographs/videos pp. 40-41
56. The Vietnam-American War prompted anthropologists to give serious attention to the issue of __________.
Answer: ethics pp. 41-42
57. Doing research among powerful people is called __________.
Answer: studying up p. 34
58. Lanita Jacobs-Huey’s study of African-American women’s hair culture is an example of __________
Answer: multi-sited p. 29
59. __________ is research that puts the anthropologist in danger because it is carried out in war zones and
areas of conflict.
Answer: War zone anthropology p. 43
ESSAY. Write a well-organized essay of [will vary: between 50–100 words] for each of the questions below.
Make sure your essay has an introductory and concluding sentence and evidence from class to back up your
points as necessary.
60. How has research in anthropology changed since the nineteenth century? Mention specific figures in the
development of research methods.
Answers will vary. pp. 26-31
61. Define rapport and discuss an example of an anthropologist having difficulty establishing it.
Answers will vary. pp. 33-34
62. What is participant observation, when was it “discovered” as a method, and what positive benefits does it
have in terms of data quality?
Answers will vary. pp. 28-29
63. What are two special methods used by cultural anthropologists in addition to participant observation?
Answers will vary. pp. 36-39
64. What are two common problems in anthropological fieldwork?
Answers will vary. pp. 33-39
65. What is a life history and why is this method controversial?
Answers will vary. p. 37
66. Name three microcultures that the textbook mentions as affecting fieldwork and describe the effects of one
of them on an anthropologist’s experience.
Answers will vary. pp.34-35
67. What is the background of the American Anthropological Association’s Code of Ethics and how is this
background related to two of its key principles?
Answers will vary. pp. 41-42
68. Discuss two ways that cultural anthropologists record data while in the field.
Answers will vary. pp. 40-41
69. Discuss one example of danger in doing fieldwork and describe a way of reducing that danger.
Answers will vary. p. 43
70. Describe the difference between deductive and inductive research and how this difference relates to
fieldwork methods. Discuss the kinds of ethnographies that cultural materialists and interpretivists tend to write.
Answers will vary. p. 36
71. What are some of the key ethical issues in cultural anthropology and how do they make cultural
anthropology different from another discipline that you have studied (such as history, chemistry or political
Answers will vary. p. 40-41
72. Discuss the findings of Malinowski in the Trobriand Islands and then the findings of Weiner. Do the
differences suggest that anthropologists should always work in teams comprising more than one gender?
Answers will vary. pp. 29, 31-32
73. Describe the research phases in The South Baffin Island Place Name Project and the kind of information
each phase produced.
Answers will vary. p. 39
74. What is the background and context of Trobriand Island culture and what are some of the major issues
facing the Trobriand Islanders today?
Answers will vary. p. 32