Emics vs. Etics


The Emic Approach
The Etic Approach

--Studies behavior from within the system.

--Studies behavior from a position outside the system.

--Examines only one culture at a time

--Examines two or more cultures, comparing them.

--The structure of the culture is discovered by the analyst.

--The structure of the culture is created by the analyst.

--Culture elements are relative to internal characteristics.

--Culture elements are considered absolute or universal.

Some other dichotomies of interest in CPP &CP research:

1. Realists (think of culture as "out there" or "in the heads of the members of the culture") vs. Nominalists (emphasize that culture is in "the head of the investigator."

2. Universalists (believe there are universal laws that govern human nature which can be applied in any context, any time, any culture) vs. Relativists (who range from the social constructionists who adopt a pluralistic, contextual view of culture to the postmodernists who question the whole notion of objective, invariant truth).

3. Essentialists (propose innate distinguishing characteristics that describe groups of people and account for their differences from other groups of people) vs. Deconstructionists (contend that apparent differences between and among groups are socially-constructed and can only be understood within the context of the group's existence).


***So, where do you stand--does the culture create the individual or does the individual create the culture? Both? Neither?