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9 “Hot” Gifts

 

One of the cases is case 9 “Hot” Gifts. This case demonstrates the necessity to follow the established principles in the community under study. Rose Stone moved into an urban ghetto in order to study the existing strategies for survival used by local low-income residents. This fact means she had to explore their lifestyle, experiencing the same feelings and following their traditions and customs. I completely agree with Rose Stone’s decision to accept the clothing, but not the record player presented to her by one of her new friends in the community. Moreover, I like the way she explained her decision: she was in need of a warm coat, wool slacks, and sweaters, but she did not need a record player as she had no time to listen to her records. As to the comments, I really liked most of them, but, to tell the truth, some comments are too aggressive. I do not think that this gift meant something negative for Rose Stone.  It was a testing for her: whether she respects the traditions of the community members under study or not. Rose Stone as an anthropologist demonstrated that she was respectful of these traditions.

Some other cases in the list describe similar situations which require common sense and intuitive reasoning. Most situations are connected with violence, aggression and the established traditions of the communities under study. I believe that it is very important for an anthropologist to develop the proper relationships in the community in order to avoid criticism and to better understand the local culture. Undoubtedly, certain ethical guidelines should be applied to the fieldwork. Anthropologists should demonstrate hospitality and guest status, carefully considering possible ethical choices and avoiding conflict situations. I agree with the comments of professional anthropologists. Some of these comments can be used as guidelines for fieldworkers.