The four seasons of ethnography: A creation-centered ontology for ethnography

Sarah Amira De la Garza

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

10 Scopus citations


In this chapter, similar to Aluli-Meyer’s endeavor to introduce an alternative epistemology for knowledge production (Chapter 9), Sarah Amira de la Garza proposes a non-Eurocentric method of ethnography called “The Four Seasons of Ethnography,” which is predicated on the creation-centered ontology of organic and circular order as opposed to the “naturalistic” paradigm grounded in the Western linear, mechanistic, and positivistic worldview. She critically reflects on the four guiding ideals of Western “naturalistic” ethnography: (1) opportunism with linear and material orientations to time and process; (2) the assumption of independence of researcher that prescribes a separation of the researcher and the researched; (3) the entitlement of the researcher with a dominating relationship with cultures studied and nature; and (4) primacy of rationality that silences spirituality, emotionality, and other forms of interpretive voices. Using the metaphor of four seasons to describe the entire process of ethnographic research rooted in the creationcentered circular cosmology, De la Garza then ventures to formulate the guiding ideals of the Four Seasons of Ethnography: (1) natural cycles (appropriateness) of the processes and experiences of living beings, (2) an awareness of interdependence of all things, (3) preparedness, and (4) harmony/balance (discipline).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Global Intercultural Communication Reader
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9781135048716
ISBN (Print)9780415521451
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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