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Ethnography and Data Mining in Anthropology Essay

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Updated: Dec 29th, 2021


Ethnography refers to the study of specific cultures. The study of cultures is of great importance under normal circumstances to enhance the understanding of the same. It is against this background that the study of cultures occupies a central role in society. Anthropology involves the study of human behavior. This involves the history and cultures of people. However, anthropology involves a general approach to the whole aspect of human culture, behavior, and experiences. Ethnography on the other hand focuses on the specific aspect of culture. Normally ethnography involves the selection and study of a specific culture.

This is considered vital since it brings more accuracy and authenticity to the whole field of anthropology. In this case, the knowledge that could not have been achieved through anthropology can be achieved by ethnography. Therefore ethnography is considered as a better way of understanding human behavior specifically culture. Henceforth, ethnography complements anthropology in many ways. Ethnography works in many ways, the collection of information and process of study involves several methods and parameters. One common method used by ethnography is data mining. Data mining aids ethnography since it is through it that the necessary information is obtained, analyzed, and evaluated. This paper aims to take a keen look at the concept of ethnography. To succeed in this endeavor the paper will also analyze data mining and its essence. The paper will refer to several articles and sources in the discussion of the whole concept.

Culture and Psychology

Ethnography plays a key role in the study of psychological behaviors. These behaviors are shaped by culture and human experience (Atkinson & Hammersley 2007). It is against this background that through data mining, ethnography collects information and evaluates bringing out the essence of the same. Psychological behaviors are those features that emanate from the status of the mind of students at any given time. The psychological status of an individual at any given time determines the effect of whatever activity is prevailing. Psychological behaviors might take the shape of personality and other symptoms of mental disorder. Under normal circumstances, psychological behaviors involve several conditions. Most of these conditions represent a malfunction of the various mental faculties. Examples of psychological behaviors include anxiety, attitude, and motivation (Havemeyer 2007).

Various studies conducted have indicated that anxiety is a major cause of poor performance among students from certain cultural backgrounds. It is a proven fact that anxiety contributes to a high degree of low performance by the students. However, this does not mean that only anxiety causes poor performance since virtually all psychological behaviors tend to harm the performance of the students. Fears of all kinds and aspects of mental and psychological disorders all have a profound effect on the aspect of performance of the students. Yet as far as the learning process is concerned, performance is the most important of all the aspects (Fetterman 2009). The performance of the students is an indicator of the success or failure of the whole program. When a student’s performance is affected it leads to a kind of situation where the program is of no significance.

Children who have psychological disorders lack the necessary concentration and focus that is necessary for learning (Keong 2006). Under normal circumstances, the process of learning requires a lot of focus and attention at the same time. There is therefore a very clear relationship between concentration and the learning process. Without adequate concentration and attention, the learning process is rendered ineffective. As a result, the role played by factors of psychological nature such as anxiety is great and cannot be underestimated. Such factors don’t get limited to the learning process alone (Larose et al 2007). Their impact goes beyond the learning environment. Under normal circumstances, the students get problems in almost all the other areas of life. For instance, the social lives of such students are also affected by such factors of psychological nature.


Ethnography plays an important role in the field of anthropology. Ethnography complements the process of anthropology. However, ethnography is more effective, successful, and specific than anthropology. This is because ethnography focuses on a specific subject in its study. Under normal circumstances, ethnography involves the study of cultures. This is done in a way in which a specific culture is selected for the study. In this way, the process is more objective and successful on many counts. Ethnography involves several methodologies and aspects. For the whole process to be successful several parameters are needed. This is how the process of ethnography becomes successful on many counts. As a result, ethnography involves the process of data mining. Data mining refers to the process in which the data is sought for study. Ethnography cannot operate without data mining. Data mining is the success secret of ethnography. Through data mining, ethnography established the necessary information needed for the analysis and understanding of human culture. This works in a manner where the data involving the selected culture is sought and analyzed thoroughly to be used in making conclusions. The paper has discussed fully the concept of ethnography. Since there are several related aspects, the paper has focused on several parameters. This was done to navigate through all the necessary factors of ethnography.


Atkinson, P. & Hammersley, M. (2007). Ethnography: principles in practice. Washington: Taylor & Francis.

Fetterman, D. (2009). Ethnography: step-by-step. New York: SAGE.

Havemeyer, L. (2007). Ethnography. Washington: LLC.

Keong, W. (2006). Advances in knowledge discovery and data mining: 10th Pacific-Asia conference. New York: PAKDD.

Larose et al. (2006). Data mining the Web: uncovering patterns in Web content, structure, and usage. Washington: Wiley-Interscience.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Ethnography and Data Mining in Anthropology." December 29, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/ethnography-and-data-mining-in-anthropology/.


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