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Readings Due December 4

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 1 month ago

Hockings: Conclusion: ethnographic Filming and Anthropological Theory pp 507-53

 

[Elen De Oliveira, emd10@geneseo.edu, 12/10]

 

As Hockings concludes his analysis on Visual Anthropology he realizes that as Margaret Mead said two decades ago " we still find ourselves in a 'discipline of words'" (507). It is unfortunate that photography and film aren't as widely used as they could be, but it is true that writing is still our main source of information. We may have progressed towards technology as opposed to physical reading of books, but we have only found a way to read more conveniently from our computers at home. We still rely on words as the main source of our knowledge. While we may watch movies and view photographs and gain things from them, it is still mostly writing that we look to for definite answers. As Hockings also states in his conclusion "most films have conceptions, by which I only mean a story line or a sort of organization. But concepts?-no" (518). This is why we still look to written works for the bulk of our information while watching films simply to increase understanding and help with visualization.

 

 

[Steph Aquilina, sma8@geneseo.edu, 12/10]

 

Hockings, “Conclusion: Ethnographic Filming and Anthropological Theory”

 

IDEOLOGY: There are four areas of concern when determining if anthropological material has quality: 1) how participants are used to supply information and answer questions, 2) how the ethnographer uses language when noting his observations and when communicating those into descriptions, 3) how deeply an ethnographer perceives a community beyond the physical realm to include internal motivations and rule systems, and 4) how the observer is involved in the circumstances and in the description. In this fourth element, ethnographic film can combine situation and account into a seamless exploration. This type of film increases the quality of observation, and allows the anthropologist’s portrayal of a culture to be richer in content; less is extracted when not imprisoned with linguistic barriers.

END

 

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

 

Hockings- Conclusion: Ethnographic Filming and Anthropological Theory

Social Change: In this reading Hockings makes the point that despite great changes that have taken over the years one thing still remains the same and that the importance of visual anthropology is still hidden away. Even though it has been more than a century now since the first anthropological film that was ever filmed and how filming technology has improved, visual anthropology is still hardly even a distinct discipline which unfortunately has by no means benefitted from great new developments. As Margaret Mead had observed more than two decades ago, we still rather find ourselves “in a discipline of words” (Hockings 2003:507). Sadly, this is the truth, and in this reading Hockings tries to relate visual anthropology to the theory and methods of cultural anthropology as to show whether that growth can contribute to the general development of anthropological theory. Overall, I found this reading rather interesting especially on other areas where ethnographic filming can make a direct and unique supplement to other forms of anthropological endeavor and where it plays this distinct role. For instance, in undergraduate teaching, archiving cultural material, design and presentation of research projects, exploratory fieldworks and so on and forth (Hockings 2003:508-509). In addition to this, the evaluating of the films was also an interesting read (Hockings 2003: 520-522). In all these were all rather interesting because it opens one’s eyes to the importance of ethnographic films and because one would not assume that ethnographic film can fit and overall within so many areas in today’s various fields especially among the anthropological field. END

 

[Larkin Kimmerer, llk5@geneseo.edu, 12-13-07]

Hockings-Conclusion

IDEOLOGY: Hockings presents the question of filming as a scientific endeavor (Hockings 2003:513). While both use equipment to make observations about the world, film equipment serves not to record variables, but to record events that we must still "read" the behavior of people. Film is not so easy to generalize, nor be completely objective. The biggest thing that we have learned from reading Hockings is that how the film is made--film angle, focus, staging of events--greatly effects the message that it sends to audiences. In this way, film is radically different from the natural sciences.

END

 

[Jennifer Ritzenthaler, jkr5@geneseo.edu, 12/15/07]

 

Hockings Conclusion

Ideology: Hockings refers to Margaret Mead in informing us that anthropology is still mostly a discipline of words, even though so much more technology is available to us today (2000: 507). It is important that people start taking film more seriously, so that they realize the intricacies of it. Film is not objective; people need to see how it is helpful in increasing understanding about a subject, but that it may also have biases. In knowing this, people will become more informed learners.

END.

 

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

 

12/15/07

Hockings: “Conclusion: Ethnographic Filming and Anthropological Theory”

 

Ideology- In his conclusion Hockings acknowledges the difficulties in abstract anthropological theory.  Written record can be easily generalized while film cannot.  The actual use of film is difficult and expensive to archive.  The film does not make any sort of point by itself this point is “the filmmaker’s and the editors” (515). 

While I think about Hockings’ conclusions on Ethnographic film I find value in the fact that film does not make a specific point.  I know that it doesn’t always have a written conclusion and people may walk away from ethnographic film feeling that they didn’t get a moral or true conclusion, but I think that value lies in that fact.  We are attempting to understand one another and how we live.  Film aims to capture that way of living.  The fact that film does not generalize well, might be a good thing, because I don’t know if I would like it if my own life could be completely generalized into some “point” just for the sake of science.

-END-

 

 

 

[Anne Kim, ak13@geneseo.edu, 12/15]

 

Hockings “Conclusion: Ethnographic Filming and Anthropological Theory”

CHANGE: Hockings discusses his frustration with the anthropological community. He states that it has been about a century since the first anthropological film; however, there has not been much progress and increase in these films. He discusses the fact that no one has really been benefitting from these new developments and is something that should be done. He illustrates how there is a connection between everything. For example, exploratory field work would lead to research projects and storing cultural heritage, which would then lead to the benefit for future generation. This would then lead to public funding and teaching the younger generation. This would then become a constant and stable cycle.

 

END

 

[lanh Nguyen- ltn2@geneseo.edu-12/15]

Hockings

Ideology: Ethnographic films only have storylines and lack actual 'concepts', defined as "something with determinate meaning, and as such is unchanging" (Hockings 2003:518). Ethnographic films are considered an etic approach at discovering and capturing a culture. Many anthropologists are hesitant to use these films due to the fact that "they require what is presented in an etic format to be explained to them emicly" (Hockings 2003:519). An example of a term that is eticly portrayed through films is 'patriliny'. Patriliny is a "system of descent and inheritance of property, power, names, traditions in the male line"- a concept that ethnographic films will not be able to express or explain rather it can only be illustrated (Hockings 2003:518). Ethnographic films portray this concept as being a pattern of behavior that we viweres can generalize into the professionally meaningful concept of patriliny. This by far does not do justice for what this concept means to certain cultures and groups. What is culturally significant does not always get portrayed equally through films.

-END-

 

(Cameron Mack, cfm6@geneseo.edu, 12/15)

 

Hockings, "Conclusion: Ethnographic Filming & Anthropological Theory"

 

- It is true that anthropologists, in general, are hesitant to use ethnographies because of their etic and emic connotations. The culture that the ethnographer attempts to portray within their film is rarely done justice. Lanh describes perfectly above how this type of situation arises, where the concepts of a culture are not correctly or fully represented and illustrated.  A proper conclusion would be that ethnographies are very helpful in providing our basic understanding of the culturally significant aspects of the culture under study. The aspects of these cultures are not significantly or correctly explained, often. Through no fault of the ethnographer, the culturally significant aspects of a society will not be properly understood. Hockings explains this, and how filming a culture without bias can even, and often times, misconstrue a culture's significant traditions.

 

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

Hockings Conclusion

 

As a fan of Alan Lomax and what he strove to do, I like that Hockings brought him into his conclusion. Its scary to think about the sort of "Standardisation" he mentions. One of the things I like most about anthropology is the awareness it has given me about the gravity of this situation. Years ago I would have thought it would be some sort of universal humanitarian victory if the entire world came together on one official language, because of how much more communication could be possible from such a feat. As I look back I almost have to laugh, though my intentions weren't too bad. Its amazing how much culture and diversity exists in the world, but its terrifying how much has already disappeared.

-END-

 

[Heather Warren, hrw1@geneseo.edu, 12/16]

 

Hockings:  Conclusion

 

Ideology / Symbolism:  It was hypothesized that film is avoided also due to speculation that it either lacks exactness or there are other means of obtaining exactness.  But the fact remains that there is no exact truth since we cannot fully comprehend all relationships and that in nearly everything we do, we leave a bit of ourselves within, in other words, our “aims are never unanimous” (527). -END-

 

Alfred Dilluvio ajd12@geneseo.edu 12/16

 

We have to trace the history of films in order to understand the moral and ethical questions regarding ethnographic information being filmed. Films were generated to entertain people, not to educate them. Even in classes in contemporary America, kids delight in the prospect of a film for the class period. They will be free of having to learn that day. They will be entertained by the film. People typically associate visual imagery and film with entertainment industries, who are responsible for most of the films produced. Films have thus begun to permeate our societies with notions of entertainment and visual stimulus. It is therefore unfair that we produce films like Apocalypto that do not consider the ethnographic problems these films create. Ethnographic films will never take the place of books or fieldwork. We cannot trust even books or another person's thoughts. The rise of technology and the ability to manipulate imagery has pushed me so far in the direction of postmodernism, i cannot even believe it. I am a firm believer that we cannot show anything! We have to live it before we believe it.  

 

[Laurie Sadofsky, las22@geneseo.edu, 12/16/07]

Conclusion: Ethnographic Filming and Anthropological Theory

Change: The change Hockings writes about is not within a culture being observed, by within the culture of the observers. Hockings finishes his book on the same point he began it: the need for classification of visual anthropology as a theory in the field.  To him, film is a record that has fewer biases, and therefore can be used for decades by other scholars because they can observe the culture through their own eyes without the intrusion of another person’s perspective.  He also mentions that anthropologists have been obsessed with doing and seeing things for themselves, rather than relying on other people’s word.  Visual anthropology is the exit strategy for this dilemma.  It seems that anthropologists’ resistance has actually hindered the growth of this field which now more than ever, given globalization, needs to be up-to-date.   

-END-

 

 Charlie Genao, cg7@geneseo.edu 12/16/07

Hockings ended his book with an sense that visual anthropology needs to be taken more seriously and not brush to the side. Globalization is taking place at a fast rate and visual anthropology has some economic and busness issues. For example we know early on that most people produce film for entertainment and profit instead of educating the public.

 

[Dilek Canakci, dc11@geneseo.edu, 12/16]

 

Hockings, “Conclusion: Ethnographic Filming and Anthropological Theory”

 

Change: After Hockings went through all the chapters talking strictly about technology and how to appropriately use it, he also gives Margaret Mead as an example of how important it is to present ethnographic films with speech as one of the most important elements.  The way ethnographic films are today, he mentions how important it is to verbally express the emic or etic perspective that the anthropologist is using and firmly explain everything that goes on rather than making is fancy with only technological equipment.

 

[Lok Yung Yam, ly5@geneseo.edu, 12/16]

Hockings, “Conclusion: Ethnographic Filming and Anthropological Theory”

 

 

Film does something words themselves can't do, and that is to keep the same meaning throughout time. No matter what, people will see the same video, whereas words represent one interpretation one person had about what he/she saw. Then whoever reads his/her words takes another interpretation of the words. In this way, writing becomes very inconsistent. Video, even though it can be edited, is the purest medium we have to capture a culture.

 

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

 

“Conclusion:  Ethnographic Filming and Anthropological Theory”

Environment-As Hockings suggests, Ethnographic Film provides more than just a telling or explaining of a culture.  It puts that culture into context through depiction of its environment, how it procures its means of survival, and by showing what the people of the culture are doing, not just the authors thoughts about what the people are doing.  Though the culture may change and their surroundings may change, this film record can give us insight into the past. 

 

Hockings: Appendices pp 533-563

 

[Elen De Oliveira, emd10@geneseo.edu, 12/10]

 

Just because Visual Anthropology isnt our prime source of information, however, does not make it any less important in society. Films and photographs provide visuals of people, events, and landscapes that could never be properly seen through writing alone. They provide records of past life and preserve cultures that have ceased to exist. In the appendices, Hockings makes this point clear and provides ideas for ensuring that Visual Anthropology remains a part of our culture so that we can always remember those of people who have passed.

 

 

[Steph Aquilina, sma8@geneseo.edu, 12/10]

 

Hockings, “APPENDICES”

 

IDEOLOGY: Hockings and Rouch suggested that modern ethnographic filming techniques be taught to the peoples who are being filmed in visual ethnographic studies. This idea certainly coincides with the notion of community participation, and would definitely produce material that explores various cultures through their own cultural constructs. Society members would reveal how they lived and what was important to them naturally; when analyzing the results, anthropologists could uncover mental processes and cultural motivations that govern thought and behavior. However, this also poses an ethical problem of whether or not this technology needs to be or should be introduced into a society without providing any advantage to them. In this instance, would the equipment be provided to them after the ethnographers departed, to use on their own accord? Or would this glimpse into modernity be a fleeting experience, only to benefit the anthropologists?

END

 

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

 

Hockings- Appendices

Ideology: I agree with Hockings when he said “Film, sound, and videotape records are today an indispensable scientific resource” (Hockings 2003:533). This is very true in that they do indeed provide reliable data on the human behavior which make it easier to investigate and later analyze in the light of new theories. In addition, it is also true when Hockings said that they may contain information that today we might not be able to understand but rather that maybe in the future with new technology and new thinking ways it might help one reveal/discover more about the ancient people of the past. In all, Hockings stated in this section that “today is a time not merely of change but of spreading uniformity and wholesale cultural loss” (Hockings 2003:533), with this in mind, film, sound, and videotape records have become valuable tools in helping to preserve old traditional ways so that the next generation may be able to enjoy them for the years to come; to learn from them. Film, sound and videotape records make a powerful tool through my eyes because when they come together, they help to expose people to new ways of living and thinking; they rather open the eyes of the unseen and teach the old traditional ways to the unknown thus at the same time persevering the old traditional ways for future generations to enjoy. In all, I enjoyed Hockings, despite the fact that at times it was a boring reading; this section was ok for I liked how he summed his beliefs strongly and listed ways to preserve ethnographic films. END

 

 

Kaitlyn northrop, krn3@geneseo.edu 12/12

 

Conclusions

 

I think it is interesting how Hockings was talking about how some anthropologists would still be OK with doing field research without the visual portion (p.507). This baffles me because it seems like the researchers would want to use methods in which they could gather the most in depth data, and this for me would include the visual technologies. At the same time, the anthropologists push so hard for advancements in technology. This seems hypocritical to me. If they are not going to take advantage of the new material, why not use the resources in other areas, such as donating money to organizations that can help with genocide or other unfortunate situations taking place all over the world.

 

END

 

[Larkin Kimmerer, llk5@geneseo.edu, 12-13-07]

Appendices

SOCIAL CHANGE: The most important thing that ethnographic film offers us is a chance to "arrest the process" of cultural loss (Hockings 2003:533). This resolution by the International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences to create and preserve films of dying cultures is a really important step for the discipline and for the world at large. Visual anthropology has something that traditional ethnographic methods lack: visuals. To this end, as Hockings has been expressing throughout the book, visual anthropology is one of the most important sub-disciplines of anthropology.

END

 

 

[Jennifer Ritzenthaler, jkr5@geneseo.edu, 12/15/07]

 

Hockings Appendices

Ideology and Method: Hockings mentions how there are still anthropologists working today who do not feel like visual technology are necessary in doing field research (2000: 507). Hockings believes that these are critical elements in the study of culture (2000: 533). This could range from film, sound, and video records to photography and more. The visual aspect of learning is extremely important and I believe that we should use every tool available to provide a broader understanding of the world around us.

END.

 

 

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

 

 

Hockings- Appendices

 

-Social Change- Hockings says that “Today is a time not merely of change but of spreading uniformity and wholesale cultural loss” (Appendix 1)   The means that he gives to preserve ethnographic film is interesting because he is really trying to initiate a culture preservation program through film.  If more of a value were placed on ethnographic film there would be a much more natural tendency to apply special attention to the cultures which are disappearing.  This special attention along with tactics to better understand these disappearing cultures would create more awareness in other societies and give them more of a desire to appreciate and help to preserve these cultures.  His proposition aims to change social value on ethnographic film.

-END-

 

 

 

[Anne Kim, ak13@geneseo.edu, 12/15]

 

Hockings: Appendices

IDEOLOGY: Hockings further concludes that film is something that should be used much more frequently than it is being used now. He states that film, sound, and videotape are “indispensable scientific resources”. Instead of constantly using old methods and techniques, more ethnographers should use this technology, not only for us to better understand the world around us, but also for the future generations when they look back into our lives as “history”. To do this, they must take advantage of the resources around them.

 

END

 

[Lanh Nguyen-ltn2@geneseo.edu-12/15]

APPENDICES

Change: Film, sound, and video recordings provide reliable data on human behavior. They convey information independent of language and they perserve the unique features of our changing ways of life.  It is essential that the heritage of mankind be recorded in all its remaining diversity and richness. Although anthropologists are skeptical of the use of film recordings, it is overall a very good way to preserve and continue traditional customs. Every anthropologist who partakes in this process needs to be on the same page, be operating in the same manner, and studying the culture for what it is not what is should be (Emic approach rather than an Etic approach at cultural analysis and preservation.

-END-

 

(Cameron Mack, cfm6@geneseo.edu, 12/15)

 

Hockings - Appendices

 

- Hockings, compared with Ruby, once again concluded that film (photography, audio, visual recording) is a dependable medium for providing data about cultures. His views seem to lean towards the use of ethnographic film as a way of preserving the wonderfully diverse and unique cultures of today; cultures that will undoubtebly be enculturated by the ever expanding dominance of western culture. While I don't delieve that this is the only method that ethnographic films can be used for, it is a vital and urgent issue that should be addressed. It also seems important that we preserve these cultures in an actual sense of the word. If we attempt to allow these cultures to live undisturbed (which seems to be an impossibility), there would be no obligation to preserve them on film. It would be convenient, however, if we were able to adapt their cultures slightly to function along with ours.

 

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

Hockings - Appendices

 

I think Hockings and Rouch have a lot of good ideas in the address presented in the appendices of the book. I, for one, think it would be interesting to see more of an emphasis on learning how to make ethnographic films in anthropology programs. I think that sort of study would be fascinating and would help alleviate a lot of the problems with ethnographic films that are being produced today. Hockings also states that he would want to train the people being filmed as well, something also discussed toward the end of Ruby. If enough people work at it, ethnographic film could become what everybody wants it to be instead of the faulty thing that, often, it actually is.

 

-END-

 

 

[Heather Warren, hrw1@geneseo.edu, 12/16]

 

Hockings: AppendicesSocial Change:  The Idea of immediate world-wide filming of cultures is quite an amazing feat to try to get started.  I mean, WOW!!  How do you even begin to coordinate that and how would you ever get enough people to help?  Who would decide what would be recorded and what wouldn't be, especially since the more modernized cultures are just as important as the traditional societies.  Not to mention that one day what we consider as modern and our cultures will be in the future likely to be considered 'traditional' and somewhat old and outdated in comparison.  It would take way too many resources to record everything about everyone in the entire world.-END-

 

Alfred Dilluvio ajd12@geneseo.edu 12/16

 

Visual Anthropology is uneccessary. We do not need to be aroused by the visual stimulus in order to be active in anthropology. Teaching photography and the practice of making ethnographic films is a good idea in theory but it is not a good idea in practice. These films and photographs will undoubtedly be used for other things, manipulated and devalued. We have to teach people to help, not create informational videos. We have to arouse sympathy through tales, not through visual stimulus.Hockings states that he wants to train people to be filmed. I dont think this is the answer. Because of technology, ethnographic film has no place as a valuable method of obtaining cultural information.

 

[Laurie Sadofsky, las22@geneseo.edu, 12/16/07]

Hockings: Appendices

Social Change: The solution to globalization and culture loss is the establishment of numerous institutions worldwide which will focus on data collection of already created ethnographic films as well as the support of new films on cultures at risk of major culture loss of extinction.  His most important point is sharing the films with the people who are in them.  Using institutions like this, the influence of Western ideas and technology will be less detrimental to the cultures affected.  In addition, getting the people who were filmed and who will be filmed involved in the process gives the film more validity. An ethnographic film that is put together by the people being filmed truly gives the anthropologist and viewers the much sought-after emic perspective. 

-END-

 

Charlie Genao cg7@geneseo.edu 12/16/07

It is interesting that he pictures globalization as a bad thing. It is true that rate of globalization is a threat to the diversity of cultures. As globalization expands, non western culture will become more and more westernized and the point of Hockings was that why not use ethnography and film to document them incase they disappear which I thought was a great idea. I also notice that he said that natives should be able to decide on what to exclude and include in the film of thier own culture which is nice but sometimes I think people might not see the culture in its own light if that were to happen.

 

[Dilek Canakci, dc11@geneseo.edu, 12/16]

 

Appendices

 

Change: The most important thing that Hockings makes sure to make us understand is to freeze the culture within the time period that it was explored by the anthropologist.  We film all these cultures and keep the memories of the people who once practiced and took their culture very seriously. However in the future, that culture may not be there or it may have been changed drastically and it is important to have such evidence of the history of these cultures and still be able to learn how they were practiced and charished.

 

[Lok Yung Yam, ly5@geneseo.edu, 12/16]

Appendices

I think the fact that film can be used as entertainment helps its audience understand its message. When a filmmaker uses video editing to force emotions from his audience, there has to be a purpose behind it. Watching video that portrayed genocide, forced assimilation, etc.. made me want to act more than words ever can. Even the best writer can only go so far, whereas film can invoke emotion more effectively with a simplest of editing. Also, when facts are the most important issue, film can easily be used to record untainted facts. This does not happen often, but that is the fault of the filmmakers and not film itself.

 

 

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

 

Hockings (Conclusion and Appendices) – I like how Hockings views ethnographic filmmaking as a science of sorts. Since anthropology is a social SCIENCE, some form of scientific method should be used when making any sort of ethnography, whether it is a book or a film. What Hockings has presented to us is that the devices and techniques used in filmmaking (lighting, sound effects, soundtracks, etc) change the scope of its integrity and so even if it looks accurate doesn’t mean that its is 100% representative of another culture.

 

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

 

“APPENDICES”

Social Change-With the passing of the resolution on visual anthropology, I fear that we have the potential to do more harm than good.  The third proposition suggests that we share fully the results of the film with those filmed, but this is to some extent a norm in our culture, not theirs.  For example, when the filming of “The Gods Must be Crazy” took place, they used real bushmen to play themselves.  The main character was paid for his acting, but he had no use for or understanding of paper money and he threw it away.  We need to be careful to take cultural norms of the cultures we are studying into account as this resolution is realized, instead of taking a universal approach. 

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