Writing a Fictional Anthropology: How Do You Do It?

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GoshDiggityDangit
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Writing a Fictional Anthropology: How Do You Do It?

Post by GoshDiggityDangit » 17 Mar 2019 04:29

How does one write an anthropology for a fictional people? What are the essential facts that should be presented?

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sangi39
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Re: Writing a Fictional Anthropology: How Do You Do It?

Post by sangi39 » 17 Mar 2019 04:38

GoshDiggityDangit wrote:
17 Mar 2019 04:29
How does one write an anthropology for a fictional people? What are the essential facts that should be presented?
Would something like this help at all?

I've seen that particular questionnaire criticised sometimes (it could force someone into creating a culture that's just a series of bullet points), but I've seen some people use it as a good start for thinking about their concultures and how to present them [:)]
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Re: Writing a Fictional Anthropology: How Do You Do It?

Post by Reyzadren » 17 Mar 2019 04:57

^tbf, my criticism (which probably is a minority opinion here) about that questionnaire is that, even as a person who likes it presented as many bullet points, most if not virtually all answers upon my conworld would be "Not applicable".

The questionnaire itself assumes many of its categories to be important, while ICly it might not be.
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sangi39
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Re: Writing a Fictional Anthropology: How Do You Do It?

Post by sangi39 » 17 Mar 2019 05:00

Reyzadren wrote:
17 Mar 2019 04:57
^tbf, my criticism (which probably is a minority opinion here) about that questionnaire is that, even as a person who likes it presented as many bullet points, most if not virtually all answers upon my conworld would be "Not applicable".

The questionnaire itself assumes many of its categories to be important, while ICly it might not be.
Also that! [:D] (it's been years since I've used it, but I always sort of assume that it's not an awful place to start)
You can tell the same lie a thousand times,
But it never gets any more true,
So close your eyes once more and once more believe
That they all still believe in you.
Just one time.

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anthropology for dummy, no thanks...

Post by lsd » 17 Mar 2019 08:26

As long as the questionnaire is used a posteriori to describe what is well invented ...
As long as the questionnaire is not used to create...
you will avoid many biases ...

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elemtilas
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Re: Writing a Fictional Anthropology: How Do You Do It?

Post by elemtilas » 17 Mar 2019 18:18

Reyzadren wrote:
17 Mar 2019 04:57
^tbf, my criticism (which probably is a minority opinion here) about that questionnaire is that, even as a person who likes it presented as many bullet points, most if not virtually all answers upon my conworld would be "Not applicable".

The questionnaire itself assumes many of its categories to be important, while ICly it might not be.
I concur with your general stance ... and I'm the one as compiled the Questionnaire! As for the importance of categories: the Q is designed to be broadly applicable. So yes, the categories are important, though they may not be for everyone! In other words, obviously, you found it to be hardly suitable. That's fair criticism! In my defense, I didn't design it for you specifically, but rather for the majority who are just getting started, who have done some culture work and seek inspiration or who have done a lot of work and wish to see some of that pulled together.

Even in its updated and expanded iteration, it is and never was intended to be the be all, end all of culture creation. I of all people hate worldbuilding cooky cutter how tos probably most of all in this forum. Why would I foist such a thing on the community?

It's primary intention is indeed to describe. I always envisioned it as the kind of thing a philosophical anthropologer might have in the field whilst talking with an amenable Orc or Daine or Klingon or Descended Godling.

It does have the secondary purpose of creation, but not as a matter for tick boxes where once you've answered all the questions you have a full and complete understanding of a culture. Not at all! It's designed to see what you've got and also, perhaps, to prod your creativity and see where you can go further.

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Re: Writing a Fictional Anthropology: How Do You Do It?

Post by Salmoneus » 18 Mar 2019 01:27

Does anyone have a link to that real cross-cultural survey that was around a few years ago? It was sort of a WALS for anthropology...

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Re: Writing a Fictional Anthropology: How Do You Do It?

Post by elemtilas » 18 Mar 2019 03:02

Salmoneus wrote:
18 Mar 2019 01:27
Does anyone have a link to that real cross-cultural survey that was around a few years ago? It was sort of a WALS for anthropology...
You might want to be a little more specific, if at all possible. This is a pretty vague request!

Sounds interesting, though, whatever it might be.

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Re: Writing a Fictional Anthropology: How Do You Do It?

Post by eldin raigmore » 18 Mar 2019 21:23

Salmoneus wrote:
18 Mar 2019 01:27
Does anyone have a link to that real cross-cultural survey that was around a few years ago? It was sort of a WALS for anthropology...
When you find it, remind us where it is, please?

Same request to anyone else who finds it.

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Re: Writing a Fictional Anthropology: How Do You Do It?

Post by Curlyjimsam » 22 Mar 2019 14:01

Salmoneus wrote:
18 Mar 2019 01:27
Does anyone have a link to that real cross-cultural survey that was around a few years ago? It was sort of a WALS for anthropology...
Do you mean the Ethnographic Atlas? There's a version at https://d-place.org/contributions/EA .

(Even if this isn't what you meant, it's still a useful resource.)
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Re: Writing a Fictional Anthropology: How Do You Do It?

Post by elemtilas » 22 Mar 2019 16:17

Curlyjimsam wrote:
22 Mar 2019 14:01
Salmoneus wrote:
18 Mar 2019 01:27
Does anyone have a link to that real cross-cultural survey that was around a few years ago? It was sort of a WALS for anthropology...
Do you mean the Ethnographic Atlas? There's a version at https://d-place.org/contributions/EA .

(Even if this isn't what you meant, it's still a useful resource.)
Very nice indeed!

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Re: Writing a Fictional Anthropology: How Do You Do It?

Post by Salmoneus » 22 Mar 2019 20:10

Curlyjimsam wrote:
22 Mar 2019 14:01
Salmoneus wrote:
18 Mar 2019 01:27
Does anyone have a link to that real cross-cultural survey that was around a few years ago? It was sort of a WALS for anthropology...
Do you mean the Ethnographic Atlas? There's a version at https://d-place.org/contributions/EA .

(Even if this isn't what you meant, it's still a useful resource.)
I think so, yes! If not, it was something very similar. Thanks!

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