One of the chief motivators for the development of ethnography, in the American experience, has been the desire to record the histories of non-literate societies before those societies and their cultures became extinct. In the 19th century, this concern was due to the incursions of western civilization and the affects of acculturation on these societies. Today, such a noble enterprise is seen as passe, especially in the light of globalization. Besides, except for New Guinea and the Amazon Basin, where are we going to find a "primitive” tribe to study?
But are we missing the point of our scientific purpose?