Emics and Etics Re-examined, Part 1: Emics and ethics: theoretical considerations

  • Gerhard Kubik


There is indeed plenty of evidence that musicologists have been aware of the emics/etics model and related theoretical issues inherited from anthropology and linguistics all along since the 1950s, and that they have discussed them, if sometimes only indirectly or in the context of factual field reports. On many occasions emics was also discussed under other names. For example, from the early 1970s on I have used the term "intracultural approach" to describe one avenue within my own methodology. There was a purpose in it. By saying "intracultural" rather than "emic" I wanted to dismantle the rigid oppositional implications of Pike's model. I reflected my general reservations regarding the sort of black-white painting, or 'thinking in opposites', so characteristic of Western intellectual inclinations. Simon's term "idiocultural" then offered itself as a third shade to the emic and etic standpoints.
How to Cite
Kubik, G. “Emics and Etics Re-Examined, Part 1: Emics and Ethics: Theoretical Considerations”. African Music: Journal of the International Library of African Music, Vol. 7, no. 3, Nov. 1996, pp. 3-10, doi:https://doi.org/10.21504/amj.v7i3.1958.

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