Readings from Machin due 6/1/09:
Chapter 2 Introduction Responses
1) Machin makes a statement on page 34 which reads, "One of the most important steps in ethnography is learning to think about all behaviour as being accomplished through culturally accepted meanings." From our discussion in class of what ethnography is, I'm not sure if this means outsiders (those who are newly introduced to the culture) determine if specific behaviors can be distinguished as acceptable cultures through means of already perceived norms, or if a culture which is under speculation is supposed to be accepted regardless of the 'registered' accepted meanings?
2) Machin argues "mainstream cinema is hard to distinguish as 'high culture' because it is produced on an industrial scale for a mass audience," (pg. 33). If this be so in Western culture, why do film critics react differently and direct more attention towards independent film makers? Why is this category celebrated as an art form, when 'big-budget' films are only seen as entertainment? By whose and what standards do we categorize cinema as high or low culture when sub-categories fall into different labels?
Chapter 15 Introduction Responses:
1) Machin states on page 165, "Ethnography should be thought of...as being a methodology which is characterized by improvision." Methodology, according to wikipedia, relies on rationale and the philosophical assumptions that underlie a particular study. Does this mean that studying a particular culture in order to charaterize it as accomplished is based on assumed truths? I understand when conducting a study, hypothesis must be made in order to gather information or possible outcomes, but is this method fair to the focused culture? If assumptions, which may be used several times, act as origins to learning about a culture, how are we as students suppose to know the truth for which that society has intended?