Ethnography In Robert Flaherty's Man Of Aran

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as if you were one of the people themselves; express a life that has never found expression” (Poetry Foundation). However, 38 years later, the Aran Island did find a way to express or give voice to their life and disseminate it to a broad audience. This expression was through Robert Flaherty and his film, Man of Aran. ETHNOGRAPHY In an area such as the Aran Islands, an area shrouded in mystery and tradition, it is not surprising that numerous creators of literary or poetic works have used research styles rooted in the social sciences, primarily the use of ethnography and narrative inquiry methods, or some combination of them. Ethnography is the holistic study of people, races, and cultures, as a basis to collect data and information for their work. Data can be obtained from interactions, interviews, journals, field notes, and other observations within the social group being studied (from the participant perspective, also called emic), and from the outside the group (from the observer’s perspective, called etic). The process is meant to be holistic, contextual, iterative, and constructivist where the researcher is making meaning…show more content…
Flaherty, is the best-known film of the Aran Islands. R. Flaherty, considered a great storyteller and father of documentary or ethnographic film (Roney 300), made numerous films, many of which seem to follow a specific pattern or rhythm. It has been said that "all of [Robert] Flaherty's films are variations on one ideal: happiness exists when man is free and lives simply and harmoniously with nature" (Barsam 7). Additionally, a common theme in R. Flaherty’s films is man versus nature. Man is the protagonist; the environment or nature is the antagonist. Man of Aran does not deviate from R. Flaherty’s established structure. It is apparent that R. Flaherty’s passion and interest is about man’s quest for a life free from dependencies, as well as a life that coexists with

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