Thursday, 18 March 2010

Emic and Etic Perspectives

I have 20 minutes before my train leaves for Malmesbury so I thought I would attempt to keep my promise to blog a bit more!

A while ago the lovely Molly over at Just pleasantly floundering around (a fab blog go check it out if you've not already) wrote a post based on Emic and Etic perspectives. In a strange coincedence I had just been introduced to the topic in my Social Structures and Policies Module and had produced a drawing for my learning log based on the concepts. I have to write 150 words each week on my learning so it's brief but I promised Molly that I would blog about it so here is Week 1 of my learning log.

WEEK ONE - AN INTRODUCTION TO BRITISH SOCIETY (Lecture took plane on the 10th Feb 2010)

The session covered:

- The importance of exploring a topic/policy from Emic and Etic perspectives.

- An introduction to the demography of the British population with particular emphasis on critical analys of statistical data.

- Participatory exercise regarding the policies relevant to settling a refugee family into Britain.


It is essential to understand, and learn to question, what perspective an issue is being viewed from.Jargon automatically alienates but it never occurred to me that my perspective, whether from an Institutional perspective (Emic) or from a community-minded one (Etic), could also alientate.

I need to make the time to reflect on my own personal experience as well as look at the environment in which I live from outside that experience.

Conscientisation is a process through which people become critically aware of their surroundings (Freire, 1972) and, with regard to statistical data, it is one I have gone through. In future I will question!

Application of Ideas:

During a discussion regarding the trial of a 999 emergency text messaging service, changing my perspective from Emic to Etic automatically produced a different set of questions to ask.


HelenMHunt said...

That's really interesting - if a little mind-boggling!

Carol said...

I took me a while to get my head round it...I was asking questions about the text messaging service and how it was set up from a professional perspective but when I started to think about what someone from the deaf community would want to know I came up with very different ones.

Can I just ask....does this blog post look ok? Blogger seems to be doing some funny things and I just wanted to know whether it was ok or not.

C x

JJ Beattie said...

It looked fine to me. I've never come across those terms. Your illustration is gorgeous!

LadyFi said...

New terms are always welcome!

SueG said...

Fascinating, C. I had heard of those terms but never knew what they meant. And the blog looks fine to me, too.

French Fancy said...

I didn't know anything about this Carol - my, you've not picked the easiest course in the world, have you? Renewed respect for your outstanding marks to date


Carol said...

JJ - Thank you very much my dear...I was quite pleased with the way it turned out! I'm now working on another one based around issues of identity...lots of food for thought!!

I'd not heard of the terms either but was astonished to see how how big an impact they can have on a situation. In the community it can make the difference between a positive outcome and a negative one.

Lady Fi - The more I learn at Uni the more I realise how little I know!!

SueG - I found it fascinating too. When we did the exercise on the policies relevant to the refugee family some of the questions people asked were horrific. I could see why they were being asked, from the agency they were representing's point of view, but if you had taken two months to get to this country, had seen unimaginable horrors and had had to leave family not knowing whether they would live or die and that was the first experience you had of this country's inhumane!!

Glad the post looks ok to still looks odd on my comp!

C x

Debs said...

That does sound fascinating and something that could be useful for so many people to try and see things from different perspectives.

Carol said...

FF - You sneaked in there!!

LOL, no I've definitely not chosen the easiest course...but I guess if it's too easy then it's not worth doing (at least that's what I'm telling myself!!). I'm loving the learning but sometimes do come out of lectures thinking 'OMG I know nothing!'.

That's a lovely thing to say hon. Thank you!

C x

Carol said...

Debs - You managed to sneak in there too!!

Your not wrong there!! I guess it's really about trying to stand in someone elses shoes and look at things through their eyes. In terms of the refugee family....I certainly didn't like what I was looking at!! In fact, I would go as far as to say that I was appalled!!

C x

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Gosh. I had to read through a couple of times but keeping an open mind never did anyone any harm. Nice post, very interesting.

CJ xx

Louise | Italy said...

Interesting post, Carol - it looks great too!

Carol said...

Crystal Jigsaw - I'm glad you enjoyed it...something a wee bit different!!

Louise - It would seem that it's only me that's having problems viewing my long as everyone else can see it then I guess I shouldn't worry :-)

C x

Molly Potter said...


When you're an insider, it's hard to automatically realise that your insider communications might not be received by an outsider.

To constantly realise that your perspective is always just one of many is humbling.

I appear to have just rambled on!

Thank you Carol - your post sparked some neurones off.

Amanda said...

Great post, Carol - and love your illustration - you are so clever! :-) x

Carol said...

Molly - It was something that I had never thought of before but once it was explained to me it made perfect sense. I'm now very consious of what perspective I'm viewing thing from and I think it will definitely make me better at my job!!

Amanda - I wasn't sure whether to blog about it or not but since I promised Molly I figured what the hell...

I'm glad you like the illustration...I had fun doing it!

C x

DJ Kirkby said...

Wow, that's very deep and academic. Like the drawing!

Carol said...

DJ - Glad you like the drawing hon...I'll post a pic of the next one once it's finished :-)

C x

Mark said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Molly Potter said...

Whoa there clever person! That sounds great (and complex).

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