TOPIC: ARGUMENT36 - The following appeared in an article written by Dr. Karp, an anthropologist.
“Twenty years ago Dr. Field, a noted anthropologist, visited the island of Tertia and concluded from his observations that children in Tertia were reared by an entire village rather than by their own biological parents. However, my recent interviews with children living in the group of islands that includes Tertia show that these children spend much more time talking about their biological parents than about other adults in the village. This research proves that Dr. Field’s conclusion about Tertian village culture is false, and thus that the observation-centered approach to studying cultures is invalid. Because they are using the interview-centered method, my team of graduate students working in Tertia will establish a much more accurate understanding of child-rearing traditions there and in other island cultures.”
WORDS: 304 TIME: 00:39:36 DATE: 2008/7/6 21:22:05
The statement of Dr.Karp asserted that the island of Tertia does not have a custom that rearing a child by the whole village rather than his biological parents. And, in this statement, Dr. Karp also thought that the observation-centred approach by Dr. Field was not accurate.
However, in the first, Dr. Karp fails to bring out the quantity of his interview samples. We are lack of the information that whether Dr. Karp’s interview covered all parts of the islands. If the sample quantity is insufficient, the interview is lack of statistic reliablity, and any conclusion based on this interview cannot be trusted.
On the second hand, it is unconvincable that these children spend much more time talking about their biological parents than about other adults in the village can prove that these children is reared by their biological parents. Dr. Karp fails to figure out the connection between talking partners and the persons who are in charge of rearing children. It is reasonable to assume that these children talking much more to their biological parents just for the reason of they are living close. Maybe these children are living together with their biological parents, and, as we know, living together needs more communication.
Moreover, Dr. Karp draws a conclusion that the observation-centered approach to studying culture is invalid just because the doctor think that one research via this method is false. This judgement is lack of evidence. Dr. Karp’s research is lack of reliability and every conclusion based on this research is doubtful, let alone thus uncertain conclusion is been used to assail another one.
In sum, if Dr. Karp intends to prove that his research is reliable, he must bring out a statistically convincable interview, which is a fundamental of all his theory, and provide more evidence before assailing an approach is invalid.