Methods

Most of our data on traditional cultures come from anthropological research, while most research on industrialized societies is based on sociological surveys and psychological research. Anthropological and historical studies in traditional societies do not normally look at individual differences, and cover the structure and contents of a whole cultural system. Representative cultural practices and beliefs are observed and recorded by outsiders, who normally do not question individual adherence to them (Needham, 1972).

In the industrialized societies of the developed world we collect our data by using as our instruments surveys, interviews, questionnaires, and standard psychological tests, with the emphasis being the individual's beliefs and attitudes. Sociologists may be interested in group differences, while psychologists focus on individual differences and the correlates of different belief systems. The individual believer is asked to reply to specific questions and then becomes part of a data pool. The simple and direct question "Do you believe in God?" has become a standard and useful measure of one's basic stand vis-à-vis religion. We can compare answers to this question across cultures and we can compare the answers of men and women. If we are going to use ethnographic observations in the industrialized world, they will amplify the findings we already have from studies using questionnaires or interviews.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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