the ethnography is the science of the Anthropologie whose object is the descriptive and analytical study, on the ground, of manners, the habits of given populations. This study was formerly confined with the populations said then “primitive”.
However, and in particular since the movement of independences of the colonized countries, the Western ethnography was turned more and more on its own companies and social groups. The ethnography can thus go on populations to which the origins are very close to the researcher (what raised new problems of observation). They can be a broad social group (Parisian middle-class) or users of an institution, of a group of young people, SDF, travellers of public transport… The possibilities are quite as infinite as in ground " exotique".
The word, composed of the prefix ethno-, (derivative of the Greek έθνος , properly “any class of beings of origin or common condition”) and of the suffix - C-W communication (borrowed from the Greek γράφειν “to write”), means “description of the people literally”.
the term appeared for the first time in 1607. It was mentioned to indicate collections of edition, but already in 1839 in Paris an ethnological company creates for itself.
- In Germany one uses simultaneously two terms Volkskunde - “study of its own people” - and Völkerkunde - “description of the foreign people”.
- In Russia this discipline scientific is called “study of the people” and in the anglophone countries - “cultural anthropology and social”.
Ethnology and ethnography is two distinct steps and which were thought as of the moment successive by Claude Lévi-Strauss (who added anthropology there):
- the ethnography, of practical type, records the organization of a company;
- the ethnology, of more formal and reflexive type, establishes starting from these descriptions the general lines of structure and evolution of this company;
- anthropology would be then méta-analyzes dimension specialist in comparative literature between various ethnographiées companies (on a set of themes specifies however).
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