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Comparisons drawn between the scope and methods of European ethnography on the one hand and those of American cultural anthropology on the other tend to emphasize the rather obvious differences between the two a t the expense of some interesting parallel influences to which both have been increasingly subject during the last several decades. The boundaries of the "primitive" world have been shrinking at an unprecedented rate as a result of proliferating technology and worldwide sociopolitical transformations, forcing the American cultural anthropologist to begin to shift his attention from tribal societies to peasant communities and to the processes of culture change. In Europe, where field research has been limited for the most part to the study of the traditional folk (peasant) culture of the ethnographer's country, the steady urbanization and modernization of the countryside has brought the subject of ethnographic research under similar reconsideration. Once the deepest wounds from World War II had closed and European ethnographers could fully resume their activities, a thorough reappraisal of the goals and methods of ethnographic research became inevitable. The options discussed ranged from the pursuit of microethnographic treatment of the ever-diminishing folk culture survivals to the sociologization of ethnography, with the implication of its gradual demise.

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