From anxiety to insight : the process of formulating a methodology in practice : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy at Massey University

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Massey University
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Anthropologists do not have a Methodology that acknowledges their subjective experience during fieldwork, as scientific data. Yet an accurate presentation of Anthropology as a science, depends on inclusion of the person (ality) of the Anthropologist. This anomaly is both, the doorway to the creative element that defines Anthropology as a unique discipline in the Humanities, and the stumbling block of science in the twentieth century. George Devereux, a French Anthropologist and psychotherapist, initially explored the dimensions of this problem in the 1930's. His dual career enabled him to envisage a model, in which the anthropologist's integral part in the fieldwork was acknowledged. Although he recorded the development of this model during fieldwork around 1935, it remained unpublished till 1967, and is still largely unknown in the Humanities. The potential value has yet to be explored in the fieldwork situation. The primary aim of this thesis, is to record the experiential process of formulating a Methodology in the practice of fieldwork, using the key concept Devereux proposed: "the subjectivity inherent in all observation is the road to an authentic, rather than fictitious objectivity".(1967). Within the Scientific tradition, Methodology has been regarded as a prescription for doing fieldwork, rather than a distincitve tool for creating this unique basis of Anthropology. The challenge has been to identify the double bind this causes, between theory and practice, and to present a new approach to Methodology, that offers a practical way of being an Anthropologist. The person whose presence, in the final result, is critical if Anthropology is to reflect what it proposes to explore - the essence of humanity in a scientific manner.
Anthropology, Methodology, Field work