Improvising Theory

Author: Allaine Cerwonka
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226100286
Size: 52.95 MB
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Scholars have long recognized that ethnographic method is bound up with the construction of theory in ways that are difficult to teach. The reason, Allaine Cerwonka and Liisa H. Malkki argue, is that ethnographic theorization is essentially improvisatory in nature, conducted in real time and in necessarily unpredictable social situations. In a unique account of, and critical reflection on, the process of theoretical improvisation in ethnographic research, they demonstrate how both objects of analysis, and our ways of knowing and explaining them, are created and discovered in the give and take of real life, in all its unpredictability and immediacy. Improvising Theory centers on the year-long correspondence between Cerwonka, then a graduate student in political science conducting research in Australia, and her anthropologist mentor, Malkki. Through regular e-mail exchanges, Malkki attempted to teach Cerwonka, then new to the discipline, the basic tools and subtle intuition needed for anthropological fieldwork. The result is a strikingly original dissection of the processual ethics and politics of method in ethnography.

A Different Kind Of Ethnography

Author: Denielle Elliott
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
ISBN: 1442636610
Size: 74.51 MB
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"Produced by members of the Centre for Imaginative Ethnography, this collection introduces the idea of an imaginative and creative approach to anthropological inquiry, one that is collaborative, open-ended, embodied, affective, and experimental. Rather than structuring the book around traditional methods like interviewing, participant observation, and documentary research, the authors organize their thoughts around different methodologies--sensing, walking, writing, performing, and recording. As well, innovative, practical exercises are included that allow ethnographers to not just 'talk the talk', but also 'walk the walk' so they can deepen, complicate, and extend ethnographic inquiry. A list of additional resources at the end of each chapter provide rich support for those who want to pursue more imaginative and creative methodologies."--

The Need To Help

Author: Liisa H. Malkki
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822375362
Size: 46.38 MB
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In The Need to Help Liisa H. Malkki shifts the focus of the study of humanitarian intervention from aid recipients to aid workers themselves. The anthropological commitment to understand the motivations and desires of these professionals and how they imagine themselves in the world "out there," led Malkki to spend more than a decade interviewing members of the international Finnish Red Cross, as well as observing Finns who volunteered from their homes through gifts of handwork. The need to help, she shows, can come from a profound neediness—the need for aid workers and volunteers to be part of the lively world and something greater than themselves, and, in the case of the elderly who knit "trauma teddies" and "aid bunnies" for "needy children," the need to fight loneliness and loss of personhood. In seriously examining aspects of humanitarian aid often dismissed as sentimental, or trivial, Malkki complicates notions of what constitutes real political work. She traces how the international is always entangled in the domestic, whether in the shape of the need to leave home or handmade gifts that are an aid to sociality and to the imagination of the world.

Drawn To See

Author: Andrew Causey
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
ISBN: 1442636688
Size: 66.80 MB
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In this meditation/how-to guide on drawing as an ethnographic method, Andrew Causey offers insights, inspiration, practical techniques, and encouragement for social scientists interested in exploring drawing as a way of translating what they "see" during their research.

Ethnography And Virtual Worlds

Author: Tom Boellstorff
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 0691149518
Size: 60.16 MB
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Ethnography and Virtual Worlds is the only book of its kind--a concise, comprehensive, and practical guide for students, teachers, designers, and scholars interested in using ethnographic methods to study online virtual worlds, including both game and nongame environments. Written by leading ethnographers of virtual worlds, and focusing on the key method of participant observation, the book provides invaluable advice, tips, guidelines, and principles to aid researchers through every stage of a project, from choosing an online fieldsite to writing and publishing the results. Provides practical and detailed techniques for ethnographic research customized to reflect the specific issues of online virtual worlds, both game and nongame Draws on research in a range of virtual worlds, including Everquest, Second Life, There.com, and World of Warcraft Provides suggestions for dealing with institutional review boards, human subjects protocols, and ethical issues Guides the reader through the full trajectory of ethnographic research, from research design to data collection, data analysis, and writing up and publishing research results Addresses myths and misunderstandings about ethnographic research, and argues for the scientific value of ethnography

Purity And Exile

Author: Liisa H. Malkki
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022619096X
Size: 71.17 MB
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In this study of Hutu refugees from Burundi, driven into exile in Tanzania after their 1972 insurrection against the dominant Tutsi was brutally quashed, Liisa Malkki shows how experiences of dispossession and violence are remembered and turned into narratives, and how this process helps to construct identities such as "Hutu" and "Tutsi." Through extensive fieldwork in two refugee communities, Malkki finds that the refugees' current circumstances significantly influence these constructions. Those living in organized camps created an elaborate "mythico-history" of the Hutu people, which gave significance to exile, and envisioned a collective return to the homeland of Burundi. Other refugees, who had assimilated in a more urban setting, crafted identities in response to the practical circumstances of their day to day lives. Malkki reveals how such things as national identity, historical consciousness, and the social imagination of "enemies" get constructed in the process of everyday life. The book closes with an epilogue looking at the recent violence between Hutu and Tutsi in Rwanda and Burundi, and showing how the movement of large refugee populations across national borders has shaped patterns of violence in the region.

Resonance

Author: Unni Wikan
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226924483
Size: 59.97 MB
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Resonance gathers together forty years of anthropological study by a researcher and writer with one of the broadest fieldwork résumés in anthropology: Unni Wikan. In its twelve essays—four of which are brand new—Resonance covers encounters with transvestites in Oman, childbirth in Bhutan, poverty in Cairo, and honor killings in Scandinavia, with visits to several other locales and subjects in between. Including a comprehensive preface and introduction that brings the whole work into focus, Resonance surveys an astonishing career of anthropological inquiry that demonstrates the possibility for a common humanity, a way of knowing others on their own terms. Deploying Clifford Geertz’s concept of “experience-near” observations —and driven by an ambition to work beyond Geertz’s own limitations—Wikan strives for an anthropology that sees, describes, and understands the human condition in the models and concepts of the people being observed. She highlights the fundamentals of an explicitly comparative, person-centered, and empathic approach to fieldwork, pushing anthropology to shift from the specialist discourses of academic experts to a grasp of what the Balinese call keneh— the heart, thought, and feeling of the real people of the world. By deploying this strategy across such a range of sites and communities, she provides a powerful argument that ever-deeper insight can be attained despite our differences.

Made To Be Seen

Author: Marcus Banks
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226036634
Size: 21.92 MB
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Made to be Seen brings together leading scholars of visual anthropology to examine the historical development of this multifaceted and growing field. Expanding the definition of visual anthropology beyond more limited notions, the contributors to Made to be Seen reflect on the role of the visual in all areas of life. Different essays critically examine a range of topics: art, dress and body adornment, photography, the built environment, digital forms of visual anthropology, indigenous media, the body as a cultural phenomenon, the relationship between experimental and ethnographic film, and more. The first attempt to present a comprehensive overview of the many aspects of an anthropological approach to the study of visual and pictorial culture, Made to be Seen will be the standard reference on the subject for years to come. Students and scholars in anthropology, sociology, visual studies, and cultural studies will greatly benefit from this pioneering look at the way the visual is inextricably threaded through most, if not all, areas of human activity.

Navigators Of The Contemporary

Author: David A. Westbrook
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226887537
Size: 11.25 MB
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As the image of anthropologists exploring exotic locales and filling in blanks on the map has faded, the idea that cultural anthropology has much to say about the contemporary world has likewise diminished. In an increasingly smaller world, how can anthropology help us to tackle the concerns of a global society? David A. Westbrook argues that the traditional tool of the cultural anthropologist—ethnography—can still function as an intellectually exciting way to understand our interconnected, yet mysterious worlds. Navigators of the Contemporary describes the changing nature of ethnography as anthropologists use it to analyze places closer to home. Westbrook maintains that a conversational style of ethnography can help us look beyond our assumptions and gain new insight into arenas of contemporary life such as corporations, financial institutions, science, the military, and religion. Westbrook’s witty, absorbing book is a friendly challenge to anthropologists to shed light on the present and join broader streams of intellectual life. And for those outside the discipline, his inspiring vision of ethnography opens up the prospect of understanding our own world in much greater depth.

Race And Photography

Author: Amos Morris-Reich
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022632091X
Size: 13.25 MB
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Race and Photography studies the changing function of photography from the 1870s to the 1940s within the field of the “science of race,” what many today consider the paradigm of pseudo-science. Amos Morris-Reich looks at the ways photography enabled not just new forms of documentation but new forms of perception. Foregoing the political lens through which we usually look back at race science, he holds it up instead within the light of the history of science, using it to explore how science is defined; how evidence is produced, used, and interpreted; and how science shapes the imagination and vice versa. Exploring the development of racial photography wherever it took place, including countries like France and England, Morris-Reich pays special attention to the German and Jewish contexts of scientific racism. Through careful reconstruction of individual cases, conceptual genealogies, and patterns of practice, he compares the intended roles of photography with its actual use in scientific argumentation. He examines the diverse ways it was used to establish racial ideologies—as illustrations of types, statistical data, or as self-evident record of racial signs. Altogether, Morris-Reich visits this troubling history to outline important truths about the roles of visual argumentation, imagination, perception, aesthetics, epistemology, and ideology within scientific study.