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Krippendorf's Tribe

Essay by   •  December 24, 2010  •  Essay  •  577 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,806 Views

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Reaction Paper on the "Krippendorf's Tribe"

1. Approaches and Methods

The quest of the Krippendorf's family for a lost tribe in New Guinea demonstrates the participant observation method of research as James together with his wife Jennifer and their three children, tried living with the observed people, learning how they see things and experience things. Unfortunately, the family's search fails despite their best efforts.

After Jennifer's death, James as a single father has been living off a Proxmire Foundation grant in rearing his dysfunctional children. Word comes that his lecture on the "undiscovered" tribe in New Guinea is due. But he's not ready since there is no tribe. Fearful of being charged with misuse of grant funds, James bluffs his way through a presentation of an imaginary tribe, the Shelmikedmu which was derived from the names of his three children. Conversely, James wasn't aware that a documentation of these unknown natives he claims he's discovered was required. Out of desperation, Krippendorf used another research method which is the secondary analysis wherein he based his fictional tribe on the materials he has collected, rearranges it and interprets it for a new purpose and thesis.

2. Ethical Issues.

The ethical issues that have risen in the movie are fraud and deception as James Krippendorf misused the grant of money provided by Proxmire Foundation to fund for his personal needs and interests. Another situation that violated the moral principles is the time when James took advantage of Veronica Micelli's curiosity as he tricked her into participating in his false documentary.

The matters stated above isn't just observed in the film or in the field of research yet it can also be related to the common behavior of man; the bluffs that James had himself into, shows how we take advantage of opportunities at the same time how we deceive other people in order to escape from the responsibilities of our mistakes.

3. Characteristics of the researchers.

The focal characteristic of James Krippendorf as a researcher is that he was creative enough to think outside the box. Although the researcher had insufficient information to support the



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