Participating and Observing
Farrah Jarral tells the story of how Bronislaw Malinowski changed anthropology forever.
Farrah Jarral tells the story of how a bit of bad luck for Bronislaw Malinowski changed anthropology forever.
When Malinowski got stuck on a small chain of Pacific islands during the First World War, it seemed like little more than an unfortunate turn of events. In fact, it proved to be his making. The book he produced as a result of his fieldwork, Argonauts of the Western Pacific, upset much of previous anthropological practice. Instead of broad conclusions drawn from multiple cultures, Malinowski's intense immersion in a single culture reset the template. Participant observation became how social anthropologists practiced their trade - and Farrah meets an anthropologist who still relies on it to the present day.
Producer: Giles Edwards.