The terms were coined in 1954 by linguist Kenneth Pike, who argued that the tools developed for describing linguistic behaviors could be adapted to the description of any human social behavior. As Pike noted, social scientists have long debated whether their knowledge is objective or subjective. Pike's innovation was to turn away from an epistemological debate, and turn instead to a methodological solution. Emic and etic are derived from the linguistic terms phonemic and phonetic respectively, which are in turn derived from Greek roots. The possibility of a truly objective description was discounted by Pike himself in his original work; he proposed the emic/etic dichotomy in anthropology as a way around philosophic issues about the very nature of objectivity.
The terms were also championed by anthropologists Ward Goodenough and Marvin Harris with slightly different connotations from those used by Pike. Goodenough was primarily interested in understanding the culturally specific meaning of specific beliefs and practices; Harris was primarily interested in explaining human behavior.
Pike, Harris, and others have argued that cultural "insiders" and "outsiders" are equally capable of producing emic and etic accounts of their culture. Some researchers use "etic" to refer to objective or outsider accounts, and "emic" to refer to subjective or insider accounts.
Read more about this topic: Emic And Etic
Other articles related to "history":
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Famous quotes containing the word history:
“The history of every country begins in the heart of a man or a woman.”
—Willa Cather (18761947)
“To history therefore I must refer for answer, in which it would be an unhappy passage indeed, which should shew by what fatal indulgence of subordinate views and passions, a contest for an atom had defeated well founded prospects of giving liberty to half the globe.”
—Thomas Jefferson (17431826)
“We may pretend that were basically moral people who make mistakes, but the whole of history proves otherwise.”
—Terry Hands (b. 1941)