As a whole, the article Doing Fieldwork Among the Yanomamo is about a fieldworking anthropologist who decides to study among the Yanomamo people of Southern Venezuela. However, the Sociological aspect that stood out to me most was not the Yanomamo's behaviors, but the anthropologist's ethnocentrism. The article begins with the anthropologist, Napoleon A. Chagnon, arriving at the small village that he has preconceived as "primitive man" (P.84). Upon meeting the Yanomamos, he immediately notes that they are "... naked, filthy, hideous, men..."(P.83). This is a strong example of ethnocentricity. Because the villagers do not meet the standards of appearance and cleanliness that he is accustom to, the villagers are filthy and hideous. Upon living with the villagers awhile, he learns that his standards of appearance are nearly impossible to uphold. That shows that there may have been practicality reasons for the way the Yanomamos were dressed (or not dressed). When a native blows his nose in his hand, he tells him "your hands are dirty" (P.85). Where in the world are the natives supposed to get a kleenex so that he is not disgusted? Ridiculous. The Yanomamos are still very actively at war amongst their surrounding villages. Rather than acknowledge the conflict theory, and that the wars may have purpose in their society (such as deciding who receives resources, etc.), Chagnon decides that they are very barbaric and deems them "the fierce people" (P.83). He also claims that they want to be known as fierce, never considering that they have to have to maintain a fierce lifestyle to survive. As Chagnon continues his life with the Yanomamos, he continues to eat the foods he is used to, never trying the foods of the natives or offering them some of his food. Little does he know, the Yanomamos always share food as a sign of trust and friendship (maybe they aren't as barbaric as he initially thought). At this point, Chagnon's ignorance has led him to disrespect the natives culture. That is where I stopped reading for this entry. For me, the article was, so far, all about ethnocentricity. I hope Chagnon learns to broaden his horizons. Because, had he been more open minded, he would have experienced less "culture shock" (P.83). I suppose I cannot really blame Chagnon for his ethnocentricity. I can't imagine living in the described conditions of the Yanomamos. It is very easy for me to be judgmental, because I was not there and I just spent several days of class learning about ethnocentricity. I suppose a Yanomamo would find it strange that I put so much effort into cleanliness, and do not fight whenever I feel like it. But, that's what I have been getting at this whole post. Different is not necessarily wrong, and you should not predetermine anything about other's cultures.
These are Yanomamo children, they do not look like "naked, filthy, hideous" people to me.