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An etic perspective is the external, social scientific perspective on reality. Most ethnographers start collecting data from the emic or insider's perspective and then try to make sense of what they have collected in terms of both the native's view and their own scientific analysis. An external view without an emic or external foundation is unusual and uncharacteristic of ethnographic work. The etic perspective is typically adopted after multiple, and often conflicting, emic or insider views are collected. The etic view involves stepping back from the insider's views in an attempt to explain how groups are communicating or miscommunicating.

David M. Fetterman
10.4135/9781412950558.n175
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