Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Roger Ivar Lohmann
The various ways anthropologists conduct research in naturalistic settings, or in the field, are called field methods. They include participation in social life and various forms of observation. Anthropology relies on field methods as its ultimate source of information. Research in the field, known as fieldwork, involves collecting primary data on humans, other primates, and the objects and processes relevant to their lives. Through further examination, analysis, and comparison in library, laboratory, or office settings, researchers produce the discipline's general principles and theoretical advances. Various field methods are used, depending on the data available, to illuminate a chosen problem. The diverse range of interests in anthropology is usually represented in the North American tradition by reference to its four subfields, namely, physical or biological anthropology; archaeology; sociocultural anthropology, also known as cultural or social anthropology or ethnology; and linguistic anthropology. There is, however, significant overlap in the kinds of data, ...