• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Jean Briggs' study of a small group of Inuit Hunter-Gatherers, named the Utkuhikhalingmuit, or the Utku - review

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

In 1963, an anthropologist called Jean Briggs, travelled for a seventeen month period to Chantrey Inlet to study a small group of Inuit Hunter-Gatherers, named the Utkuhikhalingmuit, or the Utku. She wrote an ethnography called Never in Anger to discuss her knowledge and ideas of her experience in this foreign environment. Instead of keeping distance and remaining 'outside' from the field of research with the goal of scientific objectivity, Briggs engages into a more contemporary type of anthropological analysis, which is considered as intersubjective experience. By being aware of her own assumptions and emotions, Briggs uses them as a key to understanding the Utku way of being. Through sharing the same dwellings with Inuttiaq and his immediate family, Briggs was able to collect very rich and intimate behavioural data. Briggs was interested in looking at the expression of affection and hostility among the Utku. She learned what kind of behaviour is valued by focusing on few individuals: children, volatile Utku adults and foreigners, whose behaviour deviates from the ideal. Briggs was also interested in the methods that the Utku adopt in order to deal with misbehaviour. ...read more.

Middle

In fact, the Utku wish to deny hostility altogether. The ultimate sanction against aggressive behaviour is ostracism. It is believed that angry thoughts are not only very harmful, but they can also cause someone's death. Thus, it is very important to demonstrate one's good-will openly. Inuttiaq explains: "We Utku joke a lot. People who joke are not frightening." (Briggs, 1970: 341). Children are explicitly taught to substitute feelings of amusement for the feelings of annoyance or fear. The Utku regard misfortunes of daily life as funny (tiphi). Tiphi feelings indicate that the person is happy (quvia). Thus, humour seems to play more crucial role as an expressive device among the Utku than among us, as tiphi reactions allow people to simultaneously express and deny hostility (Briggs, 1970: 341). There are also other indirect ways of showing aggression that provide the Utku an outlet for tension. For instance, all Utku beat their dogs. Furthermore, the Utku may gossip about the unattractive qualities (e.g. jealousy, greed, stinginess, unhelpfulness and bad temper) of other families. ...read more.

Conclusion

You are loved. Drink some tea." (Briggs, 1970: 142). When his effort was unsuccessful, Inuttiaq started making fun of Raigili by imitating her tone of voice. Through teasing / shaming children learn modesty. Sometimes children are pressurised to conform through false threats: "The Kapluna will adopt you." or very rarely: "We'll tie you to the dog chain."(Briggs, 1970: 140). This behaviour can be seen as another form of socially accepted expression of indirect aggression, as the adults often smile secretly at each other behind the child's back, while threatening the child. Finnish psychotherapist, Tommy Hellsten, writes that children learn which emotions are acceptable through using their parents as mirrors, who then reflect the emotions back to the child. Since anger does not exist among the Utku, Utku parents are incapable of responding or reciprocating any reflection back to their children's angry feelings. Briggs' ethnography argues strongly against the notion that human emotions are universal. We have clearly seen that anger, instead of being simply just a natural part of our physiological make-up, is actually a human product, which can be altered through the mediation of culture. Reference: Briggs, J. (1970) Never in Anger. Cambridge:CUP. Hellsten, Tommy. (1992) Virtahepo olohuoneessa. Otava. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Developmental Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Developmental Psychology essays

  1. Communication skills in a group interaction.

    Again I made sure that the layout of the group was the most effective way it could be which I have already stated. There are also many other barriers, which do not come under, physical or environmental: for example - * Dress * Tiredness * Culture and different races *

  2. Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant - Review.

    Having a multiple view of Ezra makes me more concerned for Ezra's success because it appears as though he is incapable of hating anyone. He should hate his brother Cody for stealing his fianc´┐Że, not to mention all of the other things Cody did to him during their childhood.

  1. PETER PAN As the wind whistles round the buildings that tower the small streets ...

    I can teach you to fly. We could live together in Neverland. We would never have to leave. We would never have to grow up and face the fears of adulthood. We can forever be children and have adventure and fun." Peter said, he wanted her to come, he needed her to come, he could not leave her now.

  2. A small scale investigation into children's understanding of scientific concepts.

    The location was familiar to the younger participant but not to the older one. Given the large number of people present in the room, the interviewer commenced by establishing a very relaxed atmosphere with the participants in order to try and avoid any power imbalance, the right to withdraw at

  1. Blue Remembered Hills - review

    Boys act like the girls are nasty but it is just because they are not mature enough, and also it is a very taboo subject which they have been brought up to think is naughty and should never be talked about in public.

  2. "Northern Lights" by Philip Pullman - review

    Lyra pledges to share what she knows, rescue her dear friend Roger, and ultimately find her imprisoned father. Through the Gyptian elders, Lord Faa and Farder Coram, Lyra is bewildered to learn that her parents are Lord Asriel and Mrs.

  1. Is Popular culture an Influence on Violent Behaviour?

    It was the advent of 'Gangster' rap in the late 80's and early 90's that caused people to start to take note of the violent imagery and description in artists' lyrics. Ice-T's song 'Cop-Killer' sparked major protest after the Rodney King trial, in the song he raps about killing police-officers: 'I got my twelve gauge sawed off.

  2. The study into the use of Roamer in promoting basic concepts in geometry for ...

    as colour, then the child moves on to use more scientific mathematical concepts such as the number of sides a shape has. Vygotsky's work suggest that children learn in movement of understanding by being given the opportunity to experience and make sense of something.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work