Written Assignments - Introduction to the Congregation.
Describe your experience gaining access to the congregation, provide us with some general background information, and consider the features of formal and ritual language. Some sort of religious congregation of your choosing or Any religious event that occurs on a weekly basis(going to church) will be considered appropriate.
What was it like to ask for permission?
How were you received? Where is the congregation located?
What does the meeting space look like?
About how many members are there?
Does language use seem to conform to the features Irvine and DuBois describe?
How does your info about religion impact on this project?
Any general observations are also welcome
*This is ethnographic report not an article riview, citation should not be exceeding more than quater of whole paper and you should make an argument. Do not just write anything that you saw or hear at the site.
assignment should be 500-1000 words, and should connect theoretical issues from relevant readings and class discussion to observations made in your congregations. Please cite specific concepts from the readings and compare and contrast with your own site. Your fieldnotes should be exhaustive, but your assignments should not; instead, you should make an argument and structure them accordingly.
? conduct ethnographic research
? write ethnographic reports
? craft an argument and write a paper that integrates their ethnographic data
? think critically and non-ethnocentrically about both particular religious traditions and
religion as a category
you need to connect theoretical issues from class discussion with your observation and
these are examples of theoretial issues that we discussed in the class.
Religion and Language
1. Not about belief but about practices
2. Religious language as self-conscious and highly manipulated
3. Need to look at non-referential functions of language
-> Performativity : language changes the world
-> what does performativity explain about ritual?
Ritual and authority
1. Ritual is coercive
2. Ritual language is formal
3. Ritual as genre
-Genres share features that help us interpret
-Genre features are context-independent
Participation, Agency, Text
1. How do we deal with participants who can?t make their presence known in the normal ways?
2. How do we deal with reported speech from ancestors, books, etc?
3. In ?normal talk? We assume:
- Author, animator, and principal coincide unless explicitly marked : all 3 assumed to bodily present
- Gaze, posture, gesture and speech reinforce each other
- Bodily present others are assumed to be the audience
- Participants share common frames of reference
-Keane (431) : ?most extreme and self-conscious manipulations of language?
-Formality and herarchy
-conrolling language to control behavior
-Language governs intensity of behavior
-Language, religion and world view
As property of :
Cross-cultural aspects of formality
1. Increased code structuring
2. Code consistency
-multiple second pronounce, being former and keep this consistency is important. Maybe in the
people all dress in black suite. Reporters have very consistent tone.
3. Invoking positional identities
- Ranks in military, we have all kinds of ways reading this kind of identities.
4. Central situational focus
- Everyone is in some kind of same conversation such as wedding everyone is dancing talking to each other. When someone toast , everyone is looking at him.
Which ones did(n?t) we see in Monday?s video?
Girl?s were in the dress code.
Positional identities, gender stratification
Everythings seem to have less structure.
?.in religious activities familiar to you?
Relationship to social theory
- Is formality always conservative?
- In what ways are these aspects interdependent?
- What do aspects share?
How can we study this?
If we are new comer in some kind of religious event, what kind of structure we are paying attention to?
It could be setting of special organization of the place, hierarchy does exist.
Ritual and authority
?Prescribed formal behavior for occasions not given over to technological routine, having reference to beliefs in mystical beings or powers?
There is very strong repetition.
Features of ritual speech
1. Ritual register
-we only hear something in ritual situation, Archaic or archaistic elements.
-Euphemism and metaphor
2. Meaning opaqueness
3. Semantic and grammatical parallelism
4. Marked voice quality
More features of ritual speech
2. Intonational restriction- the peach rise and fall of voice
3. Gestalt Knowledge- if we learned lord prayer we only remember from the middle of the song.
4. Personal volition disclaimer
5. Shifter avoidance- I, and you these are not necessary in some particular context.
6. Ancestral model-We are suppose to speak like what ancestor says
7. Mediated speech
-has indexical function, we are not in normal context, by indexically pointing out we are having different set of rules.
-by controlling them we could have personal features of speaker, by controlling all of these feature.
-it makes language seem more saparetable from text
-all of these citation, use of ancestral speech, two divine entities
Point of all of these features is to divide personal conversation from ritual
Evidence and Authority
?No utterance is accepted without authority.?
2. What evidence might be relevant? ?
1. Prime speaker (author and principal)
-?originally responsible for framing proposition? (Dubois, 323)
2. Proximate speaker (animator)
- ?actually utters the sentence? (Dubois, 323)
Harding ?repugnant cultural other?
- Historical background Scorpes Trial (1925
- ?Modern? and ?fundamentalist?
- Christian counter narrative (387) not taken up
- Modern view : superiority of truth
- Fundamentalists also take up this view
How to study religious groups?
- Recognize marginalization
- Afford same respect and concern as for others
- What?s taken for granted means there is no expression such as female doctor. Its always regarded as man doctor
Howell : responding
- Harding doesn?t go for enough
- Need for a Christian anthropology
- Not belief but
?the lived experience? in which ?belief? is expanded beyond the genitive or intellectual sphere into the public realm in a way that validates and ?
Positionality and Research
- How does commitment affect research?
=Do you need to use an idea to understand it?
- What does it mean to be an insider/?native??
- Objectivity as problematic
- Need to be explicit about our positions
- Avoid essentializing and generalizing
- How are you understood locally?
- What can discomfort teach you?
- What kind of assumption had they made about you?
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