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Reflective Consciousness and Ethnography Research Paper

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Updated: Jun 20th, 2020

Reflective consciousness can be defined as the capacity of human beings to objectively reflect, rework and transcend concepts and classes in the context of experiential stream. Person-centered ethnography is a strategy that is utilized by psychological anthropologists to reflect techniques and theories in order to comprehend how persons interact with regard to sociocultural contexts. This paper focuses on discussing the concepts of person-centered ethnography and reflective consciousness.

When analyzing the concept of reflective consciousness, it is important to focus on implicit objectives. Here, the term implicit is used to refer to psychological contents that, in most cases, do not face any resistance in coming to consciousness. Feelings are central to understanding how people interact in day-to-day life. For example, socialization on the shop floor and other places in different settings show Brazilians’ feelings of displacement. In some instances, interactions are characterized by high levels of disorientation and disturbance. When co-workers do not recognize a worker or student, he or she feels unmotivated to work for an organization.

On the other hand, when people spend some time in restaurants taking drinks with friends, they may experience some feelings of nostalgia and modes of sociability. In such a context, an individual’s sense of being displaced arouses reflective consciousness.

This could be turned inward to reflect a high degree of intimacy and sensitivity. However, it has been shown that persons respond to feelings in different ways, leaving many observers admiring and perplexed. In fact, some psychologists assert that reflective consciousness could be an awkward attribute, which does not have very clear boundaries with regard to definition and conceptualization. That notwithstanding, some personalities such as Eduardo Mori and Naomi Mizutake, among others, were influential Japanese-Brazilians. In fact, they changed their identities based on their own circumstances. Their ever-changing and ironic deeds could be used to define the limits of cultural and historical dominion.

Person-centered ethnography could be discussed in the context of sets of exchanges in which people try to express their thoughts and feelings. Exchanges are utilized to explore states of minds of people in direct modes of engagement. It has been shown that an ethnographic exchange unfolds over time and it focuses on comprehending some important aspects of persons. Psychologists have contended that when people are engaged in talking with others, they also speak to themselves. In so doing, they aim at clarifying their ideas and sharpening their internal debates. In fact, during conversations, persons tend to shift from objectification to reflection to reobjectification, which are characterized by various thoughts and verbalizations. The interviewees in the reading materials could be described as persons who spoke their hearts.

However, some could still be described as individuals who did not understand their hearts. Some persons spoke tentatively for themselves, or utilized the interviewer as a sounding board. It can be noted that conversations in the reading resources involved shifts toward closure, mutual recognition and/or understanding. However, they occasionally involved some aspects of contradiction and conjecture. Thus, it would be appropriate to say that such exchanges provided excellent avenues of experimenting with regard to thinking through and finding answers that are more satisfactory. Ethnographic interviews could be used to awaken reflective consciousness, but they can also fail to be implemented in some situations. Examples of such situations are when Brazilian workers attempt to enter Japanese factories, or when Brazilian students try to enter a Japanese school.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Reflective Consciousness and Ethnography." June 20, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/reflective-consciousness-and-ethnography/.


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