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presupposed outcomes

The questions devised and posed by anthropologists tend to reflect the cultural outlook of the anthropologists themselves, thus handicapping the usefulness of the data collected.  Frake (1964) pointed out that individual as well as cultural 'expectancy' malform and bias the outcome of surveys and interviews.  The solution, Freke proposed, was to have members of the culture being studied, devise the questions and collect the answers.  Ethnographic bias is not insurmountable, and one should be careful not to let the pendulum swing to the other extreme where analysis of a culture becomes subjective to its members self awareness.  Independent scholars (those who make a living outside the realm of academia but nonetheless produce serious contributions to research) are encouraged to immerse themselves in the experiential of a culture.

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