Taxonomies & Paradigms

How informant structures knowledge through words.

Must have semantic relationship in chart (p47). These are semantic relationships used in taxonomies.

Kinds of relationship seen in taxonomies:

  1. If steps in- Evething has to be “steps in this” or “steps in that” same applies to all following
  2. A part of- “A part of this” A part of that
  3. Kind of this- kind of that
  4. Uses of “This” uses of “That”
  5. X is the result of Y : (x) Mechanical error is the result of bad weather (y)
  6.  X is a reason for doing Y
  7. X is a place for doing Y
  8. X is used for Y (tools, equip, etc.)

Interviews should be shorter, specific, list of items in front of your informant, mores structural questions, more attribute. Use slips of paper, give them to your informant (this, that, & this) “Are any of these more related than the other.” Understand detail, and you know the culture. What does informant really know. [about his culture]

How one airline is different from another: Ex. Contrast Set

Paradigms: Dimensions of meaning

Chart where your representing dimensions of contrast, which is information important to your informant. There shouldn’t be any paradigms without a preceding taxonomy. Remember what an ethnography does is tell the reader everything they’d need to know, how to be a pilot in that culture & not mess up. “How do you talk to Air Traffic Control” “How do you handle different planes” Prepare sample chart, have informant help you fill it in.


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