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Readings (due November 8)

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 9 months ago

To comment on the following readings, please first indicate your name, e-mail address, and the date of your post. Then, add your comments.


Example: [E. Kintz, kintz@geneseo.edu, 8/25]















Hockings, "Visual Records, Human Knowledge and the Future"


Type your comments here . . .

[Larkin Kimmerer, llk5@geneseo.edu, 11-8-07]

Visual Records...

1. SOCIAL CHANGE: Sorenson makes the valuable point that all of the last remaining isolated, independent societies are rapidly disappearing--at least in terms of their isolation (p. 494). Ethnographic film is probably contributing, at least in part, to this by bringing modern technology in to document cultures which had previously had very little contact with the modern world.

2. SOCIAL CHANGE: Seeing films about past events to teach us as Americans about our heritage--even relevant, somewhat recent accounts--do nothing to help us re-establish our ancestry, but as Sorenson says, at its worst, this "cultural renewal" keeps us in the "backwash of history" and at its best it gives us something to be nostalgic about (p. 496).

3. IDEOLOGY?: The idea that anthropology and ethnographic film are not scientific because they are driven by special interests is ridiculous--everything is driven by special interests, even the most "scientific" of sciences!





[Heather Warren, hrw1@geneseo.edu, 11/15]


Hockings: “Visual Records, Human Knowledge and the Future”


Ideology / Symbolism: I agree that film is important in capturing human behavior since it can capture minute details and complexities that we do not always notice or even see with our own eyes. Filming also, when done correctly, spontaneously, or even accidentally, can capture things that we did not know was there or had not thought of filming, giving us even more data that we would not have thought important until we analyzed it more thoroughly.




[Elen De Oliveira, emd10@geneseo.edu, 11/17]

Hockings: "Visual Records, Human Knowledge and the Future"



It is really a shame that different cultures no longer want to maintain their independent and unique ways of life. In basically all of the tribes we learned about in class, they all gave in to westernization in the way they dressed, behaved, and lived thier lives. Of course no one wants to remain in rough living conditions when there are opportunities to make life easier, but in converting to the higher levels of living, these people unfortunately lose their culture and the things that made them who they were. Many of the fascinating things about these people we have learned about have mostly been changed. It is also sad that the only reason people would be interested in preserving their culture would be for monetary purposes.


[Kaitlyn Northrop, krn3@geneseo.edu, 11/19]


Hockings- Visual Records, Human Knowledge and the Future


Technology- With all fo the new technological advances, researchers benefit because they are able to capture data quicker and more efficiently. this is good because there are so many cultures that cannot be studied because of rapid westernization, and better technology means understanding more cultures before they are changed.


Change- Although some anthropologists are trying for a world sampling strategy, this seems to have both pros and cons. A plus is that many cultures will be studied but the negative to that is that they wont be studied as in depth as before and so we may not understand them as completely.


Change- I think that it is ideal for anthropologists to get together and create a center for all their data. This would make it easier to be studied, researched, and upkept. Now, if someone wanted to look for something they would only have to go there instead of trying to hunt down the original data.





[Dilek Canakci, dc11@geneseo.edu, 11/24]


Hockings: "Visual Records, Human Knowledge and the Future"


Social Change: It is sad that so many cultures that hardly had any kind of contact with the outside world now carry so much of other cultures, including technological devices. Even though it makes their lives easier, I think that it changes them in ways that can never be reversed.

Social Change: Technology makes the jobs of ethnographers so much easier. It helps them capture live footages of what really goes on deep within the cultures and how their values, beliefs, rituals and traditions are practiced by the people themselves rather than just write about it and describe the activity that is going on.


[Dave Roberts, dlr4@geneseo.edu, 11-29]


IDEOLOGY: When anthropologists tell their subjects that he wishes to "preserve" their culture and way of life, they generally view this as absurd. Although they may have held past traditions and modes of survival with reverance, they are constantly looking forward, looking for an easier, more efficient way to do things. Thus, change is inevitable, especially when these cultures come into contact with more developed ones.






[Jonathon Baker, jlb22@geneseo.edu, 11/26/07]

Hockings, “Visual Records, Human Knowledge, and the Future”

Change: This is all good and well, saying that all these things need to be done…but who is going to do it? Pay for it? Does it really need to be done? I don’t understand why it is so important to go in and “preserve cultures” on film for the future when in many cases the act of going in and “preserving” the culture changes it dramatically. How does one decide for these people that their culture needs to be preserved and therefore changed? I’m sure there are some anthropologists out there that would have many ethical disputes with the how the author of this chapter means to go about things.



(Cameron Mack, cfm6@geneseo.edu, 11/26)


Hockings, "Visual Records, Human Knowledge, and the Future"


Change - This chapter brings into light the idea that most all of the cultures that we have studied in class and their transformation as societies. Once unique and traditional in their own manners, these societies have all altered aspects of their lifestyles to adapt to the ever-changing world. Whether those cultures changed the way they dressed, retrieved sustenance, worship their deity/ies, or form an economy; they altered their traditional methods of survival in favor of acculturation by invading societies. While this act of gaining attributes of foreign cultures can frequently make the quality of living quite simpler; however, it has jeopardized many unique qualitites of an amazing group of people.



[Steph Aquilina, sma8@geneseo.edu, 11/28]


Hockings, “Visual Records, Human Knowledge and the Future”


SOCIAL CHANGE: Building a global archive of filmed ethnographies will allow researchers to examine the range of adaptive capabilities that human beings show within different environmental and social conditions. This species-level introspection is a crucial element of coping with the future of worldwide change and increasing globalization. Creating a collection of material that pinpoints human consciousness and perception will aid in entertaining new ways of thinking and technological innovations. Recognizing the potential of personal insights, of broad modes of communication and symbolism, to temporal and geographical organization will allow for appropriate reactive strategies as new issues arise.



[Nicole Rothman, ngr1@geneseo.edu, 12/9]

Hockings “Visual Records, Human Knowledge, and the Future”

I think that new advances in technology are necessary for ethnographers when observing a culture. These once indigenous cultures are embracing the ever-expanding westernization. I agree that it is necessary to preserve and record cultures before they begin to westernize, the ethnographers are trying to do this, however I think they are unintentionally helping speed the westernizing process. How can they bring new forms of technology and western ways and not end up changing or at least influencing a culture?



Alfred Dilluvio ajd12@geneseo.edu 12/9


Do we really need to keep up with all the modern technology and advancement of the audiovisual industry when creating ethnographic film? I am going to argue that we do not. Music, sweeping angles, shadows, variance, and things like that are all liberties taken by filmmakers to induce or arouse emotions in viewers. I think the most effective ethnographic material is one that doesnt have any technology besides a videocamera and one or two informants. They can tell their story and we can only listen.


[Shamiran Warda, sw11@geneseo.edu 12/10]


Hockings: Visual Records, Human Knowledge, and the Future

Social Change: Author Richard Sorenson points out in his writing that change is rather occurring throughout the world at an unprecedented rate and that even today change is accelerating. He claims that we have entered a new period… “One of the cultural convergence in which the wide range of human variation previously developed is now rapidly disappearing under the impact of modern technology” (Hockings 2003:494). This author goes on to say how the few remaining isolated societies that still embody independent and unique natural developments in channeling and utilizing basic human potential are almost gone. In all, this is sad to read about because once these societies are gone then they are gone for good; losing with them is their ways of beliefs and thinking and overall their culture. I strongly believe that ethnographic filming has a hand in this rapid change that is seen in many cultures in that when the producers are coming to such isolated areas to film, they are exposing the native people to new ways of thinking and, in all, new modern technology. And like with the mirror incident seen with the people of New Guinea, the people get fascinated by the new items and start to crave and demand them more and more until eventually their whole way of life is rather changed to look more like that of the modern world. In all, nice easy read :) END



[Jennifer Ritzenthaler, jkr5@geneseo.edu, 12/13/07]

Hockings, “Visual Records, Human Knowledge and the Future”

Politics: Visual records are becoming increasingly important in documenting human behavior as cultures that are in most need of study have been rapidly disappearing (Hockings 2003: 505). Preservation of visual data on changing man is becoming more greatly supported, and different theories and approaches have come into play.





[Anne Kim, ak13@geneseo.edu, 12/14]


Hockings, “Visual Records, Human Knowledge and the Future”

CHANGE: Hockings discusses the importance of documenting change. Because this world is constantly changing and progressing, it is our job to retain it and study it. He says, “there is critical need to document emerging developments in societies that are modernizing”. We cannot just linger in the past and study them thinking that it is history because in the future, our lives will be history also. Therefore, we must not forget ourselves and preserve our life for the future. By studying the past and our movements, adapting to the future won’t be as hard. By having a greater understanding, we will be more adaptive and it will be less traumatic.




[Lok Yung Yam, ly5@geneseo.edu, 12/14/07]

Hockings, “Visual Records, Human Knowledge and the Future”

Change: With new technology comes new ways filmmakers can change what we see in their movies. It becomes harder and harder to distinguish the complete truth from clever video editing. Filmmakers have techniques that allow them to twist their audiences' reactions into whatever they want. However, as long as we keep this in mind and try to focus on facts and treat the "emotional" segments of the film as Hollywood movie clips, I think it'll be cool.


[Dan McConvey, dpm5@geneseo.edu, 12/15/07]


Hockings “Visual Records, Human Knowledge, and the Future”


Change:  This chapter addresses the need for visual records of “emerging developments” ( 493) in modernization.  This is necessary because the world is quickly converging culturally through developments in technology and the amount of societies that are unaffected by this rapid technological change is decreasing.  This documentation and visual records may help to change the “little interest in strategies to preserve old ways of life” (495).  People need to want to preserve their culture not for the sake of “commercial” (495) purposes such as traditional art, but rather for the sake of the meaning and value that their culture holds.  People can only truly realize this if they are given an actual visual record or account of what they have lost and will continue to lose if they continue to blindly converge with the rapid changes of the world.




[lanh nguyen, ltn2@geneseo.edu, 12/15]


CHANGE: Are advancements in visual records really necessary? Do people really need to preserve their culture through advancing technology ONLY? I agree with what Hockings said in his earlier chapter, that films, videos, and pictures can not and do not fully capture the culture's values, norms, and traditions as well as if it were to be taught first hand. The importance of a culture's ceremonies and traditions are all jeopardized when we rely too heavily on pictures, films, and videos. We have learned from class and through the study of the various cultures that modernization and globalization are detrimental to cultural survival. We see that through invasions and pure ignorance of outsiders, the indigenous cultures are being killed off slowly. New forms of transportation, clothing, manner of speech, values, traditions, etc are all being forced on the indigenous cultures. The only way that they will be able to fully understand and cherish their culture is if elders teach and share their history.



[Dan Lilly, djl5@geneseo.edu, 12/16]


Ideology - I really like Sorenson's approach to ethnographic film. The idea of an approach specific to the sensitivity of the given culture sounds like a really good one to me. I agree with his emphasis on how fragile the few small culture isolates can be and how much care has to be given when contacting them at all. Anthropologists are becoming a factor in indigenous cultures in general. I remember reading in Lee's The Dobe Ju/hoansi that when he went to study the !Kung San they were happy to accept him because a neighboring tribe already had a "white man" that supplied them with goods and now they had their own too. Field work really can be a fragile thing.




[Laurie Sadofsky, las22@geneseo.edu, 12/16/07]
Hockings Visual Records, Human Knowledge and the Future
Social Change: “Change is inevitable” says Sorenson (495). He claims that physically and culturally groups are getting closer to one another and losing their distinct qualities. They are acquiring new technology that was previously unknown or inaccessible. He states that people do not want to keep their traditional ways, but prefer to trade them for things that are more “modern” or “advanced.” Perhaps this is my own personal stance, but wouldn’t life be more calm and enjoyable if we were surrounded by people instead of high-powered appliances? We would appreciate life and those around us a lot more. Perhaps we can find a middle ground where technology is used to capture traditional ways so that they don’t fade as well as the introduction of new technology to that same culture.



 [Rebecca Coons, rsc2@geneseo.edu, 12/17/07]


Hockings (Visual Records) – It is sad that Westernization makes life easier for indigenous people and since human nature tells us to take the easy way out when possible, we see fewer and fewer native cultures retaining their identities. It is imperative that anthropologists attempt to study these cultures while they are still close to their native practices.



Charlie Genao cg7@geneseo.edu  12/17/07


Hockings focuses on a ergent need to increase the ethnographic and film. Due to globalization native cultures are being transformed in a more mordern westernish techonolgy based culture. He also thinks that people should aslo focus on the assimilation stage he wants to know how man fits in the process of that change which is a good idea. He says that behavior is dictated by our culture and according to him it is crucial that we understand different types of reactions so that we can make better decisions in life.


[Skye Naslund, sjn1@geneseo.edu, 12/17/07]



“Visual Records, Human Knowledge and the Future”

Social Change-This article brought up a very good point about ethnography and film.  In filming cultures, most anthropologists seek out those cultures least effected by modernization, ignoring those going through huge changes as they assimilate to the western world.  In truth, it is those cultures undergoing rapid change that need to be studied.  The process in which they change is fascinating and can tell us a lot about the cultural values.  Those cultures that have not been exposed to the outside world are changing much more slowly, making the rush to capture them on film now unnecessary. 


{Isobel Connors, icc2@geneseo.edu, 12/18}


Hockings:  "Visual Records, Human Knowledge and the Future"


SOCIAL CHANGE:  This section emphasized a need to record and preserve cultures before the cease to exist.  Film offers a unique way of recording a culture, as it can capture an event holistically, rather than be skewed by someone's perceived memory of an event.  However, I do agree with John in that often times when anthropoligists attempt to perpetuate a cultural existence, their good intentions are overshadowed by the affect their presence has on the community.



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