Friday, February 14, 2014

Ethnographic Monographs

Ethnographers of the early 20th century tried to explain the social phenomena in terms of the societies studied.Publications arising out of these efforts came to be known as ethnographic monographs.As an early example of this approach H Junod's The Life of a South African Tribe published in 1912-13,Malinowski's Argonauts of the Western Pacific published in 1922 can be considered as the examples of the scientific study of a primitive society.This book analyses the kula system of exchange of gifts among the Trobrinaders.


Professional research in Africa was initiated by the visit of Seligman and his wife to the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan in 1909-10.Later intensive field studies of tribal societies in Africa were made by L A Schapera among the Bechuana,Meyer Fortes among Tallensi of the Gold Coast , S F Nadel among the Nupe of Nigeria,Hilda Kuper among the Swazi and by Evans Prichard among the Nuer of Southern  Sudan.All these studies were among the small-scale political groups. All the ethnographic studies mentioned entailed the field study of a primitive society for about a year and a half.After intensive fieldwork it took a scholar about 5 years to publish the results of the research.

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