Fachgeschichtliche Einordnung und Hauptthesen

Bronisław Malinowski (* 7. April 1884 in Krakau; † 16. Mai 1942 in New Haven, USA) war ein polnischer Sozialanthropologe. Als Funktionalist und Vetreter der britischen Social Anthropology ging er davon aus, dass sämtliche Kulturmerkmale, Sitten und Bräuche lediglich die Funktion besitzen, die Grundbedürfnisse des Menschen zu befriedigen. Malinowski teilte die Bedürfnisse in folgende Kategorien ein:

  1. physische Grundbedürfnisse (z.B. Ernährung, Fortpflanzung)
  2. instrumentale kulturelle Bedürfnisse (z.B. Formen des Verhaltens, Gewalt und Macht)
  3. die symbolischen und integrativen Bedürfnisse (z.B. Schicksal/Glück)
Zur Methodologie Malinowskis

Malinowski gilt als Begründer der Feldfoschung als wissenschaftliche Methode, speziell der teilnehmenden Beobachtung. In seinem Werk Argonauten des westlichen Pazifik stellte er ein Modell zur Kulturanalyse vor, sowie einen konkreten Katalog an Ansprüchen, denen eine "gute Feldforschung" genügen sollte. 


"Proper conditions for ethnographic work. These, as said, consist mainly in cutting oneself off from the company of other white men, and remaining in as close contact with the natives as possible, which really can only be achieved by camping right in their villages (...). It is very nice to have a base in a white man's compund for the stores, and to know there is a refuge there in timer of sickness and surfeit of native. But it must be far enough away not to become a permanent milieu in which you live and from which you emerge at fixed hours only to " do the village." It should not even be near enough to fly to at any moment for recreation. For the native is not the natural companion for a white man, and after you have been working with him for several hours, seeing how he does his garden, or letting him tell you items of folk-lore, or discussing his customs, you will naturally hanker after the company of your own kind. But if you are alone in a village beyond reach of this, you go for a solitary walk for an hour or so, return again and the quite naturally seek out the natives' society, this time as arelief from loneliness, just as you would any other companionship. And by means of this natural intercourse, you learn to know him, and you become familiar with his customs and beliefs far better than when he is a paid, and often bored, informant."

Malinowski, Bronislaw (1922): Argonauts of the Western Pacific , London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, S. 6-7.

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