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1. denoting an approach to the study of human cultures based on concepts or constructs that are held to be universal and applicable cross-culturally. Such an approach would generally be of the kind associated with ethnology rather than ethnography. The term is sometimes used critically of studies or perspectives that aspire to objectivity but succeed only in defining social behaviors in terms of the researcher’s own cultural values. Compare emic. [introduced by U.S. linguist Kenneth Pike (1912–2000); first used in anthropology by U.S. cultural anthropologist Marvin Harris (1927–2001)]

2. in linguistics, see emic–etic distinction.

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March 3rd 2024