The Emic and the Etic: Their Importance to Qualitative Evaluators There are two terms that I think all qualitative evaluators should know and take to heart: These are terms usually used by anthropologists.
Introduction The purpose of the original study which serves as the foundation for this article was to identify the key factors in a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer LGBQ person's life history which enabled him or her to persist through higher education and successfully obtain an undergraduate degree OLIVE, Identifying these factors was significant since many individuals within this marginalized group fail to complete a bachelor's degree.
A life history methodology was deemed the best choice for this study because it not only effectively captures the lived experience of an individual, it also serves as a means through which to create identity by giving voice, in narrative form, to those who are marginalized and whose stories often go untold TIERNEY, The production of identity for each participant in the original study was crucial as my desire was to highlight and challenge the oppressive aspects of higher education that may serve to silence and marginalize one group of students simply on the basis of their sexuality.
To that end, I utilized life history methods within a multiple case study and co-authored comprehensive accounts of the lived experiences of six students who self-identified as LGBQ. The data I obtained were subsequently analyzed through a grounded theory approach and three themes were identified that spoke to the participants' academic success.
I did not, however, expect for portions of the process to be as personally challenging as they turned out to be. Specifically, during the data collection and analysis phases of my study, I experienced a significant amount of tension which originated from the insider emic perspectives of my participants and my own etic perspective on certain topics.
TIERNEY describes a life history as "a culturally produced artifact in one light and an interpretive document in another.
In doing so, the reader is drawn into the interpretive process and "invited to make meaning and to form judgments based on an interpretation of the text as it is viewed through their own realities. For marginalized populations, the construction of identity is a crucial first step in the process of eliminating hegemonic systems of power.
But the work of life history ought to try to understand the conditions in which people live and work and die, so that everyone engaged in the life history—researcher, storyteller, reader—has the possibility of reconfiguring his or her life" p.
Etic and Emic Perspectives 3. The terms "emic" and "etic" were first coined by the linguistic theoretician Kenneth PIKE in and were subsequently expanded upon in his book "Language in Relation to a Unified Theory of the Structure of Human Behavior" PIKE derived the term "etic" from the suffix of the word phonetic which pertains to the study of sounds which are universally used in human language—specifically, the function of sounds within a language regardless of their meanings.
Applied to the study of human behavior, PIKE's "etic viewpoint studies behavior as from outside of a particular system," while the "emic viewpoint results from studying behavior as from inside the system" p. Being a cultural anthropologist, HARRIS' use of the terms differed not only in their application but also in how they were defined.
He argued that instead of focusing upon the potential meanings and beliefs of the insider emic perspective of a particular group, what held more significance were the material i. As such, HARRIS' cultural connotations for the terms differed from PIKE's in that an emic approach was defined as being more focused upon one culture, while an etic approach involved the comparison of two or more cultures as a means of identifying common characteristics.
HEADLAND explained that "the terms diffused into other branches of science during the s and at the same time became common words in the English language" p. As the use of emics and etics became more prevalent, so did the confusion regarding their definitions and how their distinctions were applied.
HEADLAND found in a review of literature that "authors equate emic and etic with verbal versus nonverbal, or as subjective knowledge versus scientific knowledge, or as good versus bad, or as ideal behavior versus actual behavior, or as description versus theory, or as private versus public, or as ethnographic The scope of said culture can be quite broad—for example, a researcher may study the culture of an entire school system or just one building or one particular classroom or a small group of individuals who share a common characteristic.
Regardless of how a culture's scope is defined, "an emic perspective attempts to capture participants' indigenous meanings of real-world events" YIN,p. The basis behind the thought that the emic perspective is more relevant is that it is impossible to truly comprehend and appreciate the nuances of a particular culture unless one resides within that culture.
An outsider's etic perspective can never fully capture what it really means to be part of the culture. Most often, in social behavior research, the etic perspective is associated with that of the researcher since it comprises the "structures and criteria developed outside the culture as a framework for studying the culture" WILLIS,p.
When a researcher takes an etic approach to his or her study, he or she uses preexisting theories, hypotheses, and perspectives as constructs to see if they apply to an alternate setting or culture. LETT defines etic constructs as "accounts, descriptions, and analyses expressed in terms of the conceptual schemes and categories regarded as meaningful and appropriate by the community of scientific observers" p.
The use of an etic perspective or approach to research is beneficial as it enables comparisons to be made across multiple cultures and populations which differ contextually.Etic and Emic describe two different perspectives one can have in multicultural counseling. A counselor can choose to look at things a certain way, or they can try combining the two perspectives.
Emic/Etic: Emic and etic are terms used by anthropologists and by others in the social and behavioral sciences to refer to two kinds of data concerning human behavior. In particular, they are used in cultural anthropology to refer to kinds of fieldwork done and viewpoints obtained.
3. Etic and Emic Perspectives Origins Given the subjective nature of qualitative inquiry, emic and etic perspectives play a significant role in life history research. etic and emic, that these terms have reached far into other disciplines and have become much more then Pike could have ever anticipated: “various uses of the terms may be fond in journals of psychology, psychiatry, sociology, folklore, semiotics, philology, medicine.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of an emic analysis? What are the advantages and disadvantages of an etic analysis? Best answer. Get this answer with Chegg Study View this answer. Previous question Next question. Need an extra hand?
Browse hundreds of Anthropology tutors. In it, the terms 'emic' and 'etic' signify two different approaches to studying human culture. The emic approach to studying human culture focuses on the members of the culture being studied.