For example a brief transcript from Keddy 1971 was examined Essay

For example, a brief transcript from Keddy (1971) was examined by McNamara (1980) about a teacher and two boys when one of them established that the wolf boy went backwards because he was kept in a chicken coop than he asked the teacher:” how do you unlearn?” The answer of the latter was to simply forget. Many assumptions are concluded in this case, one of them might be that the teacher wished to close the conversation because he wanted to keep the lesson moving, another assumption is that the teacher avoided to discuss this point because it was the subject of next week session.

In such case, McNamara was concerned with the spectacle of divergences of opinion that are confronted between ethnographers of the same social context.

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Another example occurred under the umbrella of social anthropology. This case is Lewis’s (1951) re-study of the Mexican village, Tepoztlan which had been studied by Redfield (1930) in 1926-7. Redfiled found the village harmonious and free of divisions.

Seventeen years later, Lewis found conflicts and divisions, fear and distrust between relations. The passage of time was the contrast between the two ethnographers.

Slater (1976) and Gartrell (1979) had a minimal span of time between their studies but had conducted their studies in the same area in Niyha of Southwestern Tanzania. Although they agreed about many aspects, their overviews of the people differed. Slater portrayed people as zombies, inward, hostile. Gartrell found them to be warm, generous and open. The ramified results were a function of differences in the areas studied.

“These incidents invite us to question the feasibility of seeing through other’s eyes if observers themselves are so heavily implicated in what is found. Such sharp disparities should not be expected if ethnographers indeed base their accounts on native understandings and implications”, said Alan Bryman.

Respondent validation:

Respondent validation is an alternative approach to the problem of interpretation. In this approach, researchers showed a version of their findings to subjects themselves. Ball (1984) conducted respondent validation in his study of beachside school, he handed some of his copies to his storyteller, gave a copy of his thesis to the headmaster and held some seminars at the school. According to Buchanan et al. (1988), problems could have been occurred because of Ball’s behavior which could be censorship and the encouragement of defensive reaction.

Abram’s study (1984) on informal care in the community turned into a series of furious arguments and recriminations which had been attributed to the inconsistent results with the self-image of the respondents.

The linkage between the researcher’s data and the elaboration of these data is another difficulty with respondent validation. Buchanan et al, Bloor and Abrams presented the data to their respondents with little or no elaboration. Ball included some of his elucidation for a social scientific audience but he had to recognize that the respondent validation exercise still leaves the translation of her interpretations for the academic audience as a problematic stage. Ball’s exercise didn’t clarify how far the teachers were able to make a contribution to this translation stage.

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