Ethno-Science and Globalization

Ethno-Science and Globalization

Saheed Ayodeji Adejimi (University of Rwanda, Rwanda)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 9
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6158-3.ch010
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Globalization accelerates at an extreme rate through development of technologies of communication. However, people living in poor countries' access is very difficult because of the energy and financial demands that technology requires. One consequence of globalization for science and science education is it creates even more complex societies and challenges for indigenous communities. However, increasing local achievement in science and science education is advocated by a number of researchers in order to provide opportunities for people globally. This issue of making local knowledge part of the global brings with it the challenges of politics, history, language, economics, and ethics. The effects of globalization have been far-reaching, while the living standards of the world are still highly uneven. This study focused on ethno-science and globalization.
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Principles Of Ethnoscience

Etics and Emics

Etic and emic are terms coined by linguistic anthropologist Kenneth Pike, Franklin (1996), which were derived from an analogy with the terms “phonemic” and “phonetic”. Etic categories involve a classification according to some external system of analysis considered as appropriate by science. This is the approach of biology where the Linnaean classification system is used to define new species. It assumes that ultimately, there is an objective reality that is seen to be more important than cultural perceptions of it. In contrast, emic categories involve a classification according to the way in which members of a society perceive and classify their own world.

If a folk classification is ever to be fully understood, an ethnoscientific analysis must ultimately reduce to a description in terms approximating culture-free characteristics. Culture-free features of the real world may be called “etics” (Pike 1954). The label may also be applied to features which are not truly culture-free, but which at least have been derived from the examination of more than one culture, or to the sum of all the significant attributes in the folk classifications of all cultures. Emics in contrasts is an attempt “to discover and describe the behavioral system [of a given culture] in its own terms, identifying not only the structural units but also the structural classes to which they belong” (French 1963:398). An emic description should ultimately indicate which etic characters are locally significant. The more we know of the etics of culture, the easier is the task of ethnoscientific analysis.


One of the most important principles of ethnoscience, and one of those most often overlooked, is the necessity for determining in a nonarbitrary manner the boundaries of the major category or classification system being analyzed, i.e., for discovering how a domain is bounded in the culture being described rather than applying some external, cross-cultural definition of the field, If this is not done, the description of the internal structuring of the domain is likely to be incomplete if not entirely erroneous, and the utility of the analysis for predicting the classificatory placement of new instances will suffer. (Hymes, 1964: 16-18.) Any two cultures differ in the way they classify experience.

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