ETHNOGRAPHY AS COMMENTARY

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Ethnography As Commentary

Author : Johannes Fabian
ISBN : 9780822381204
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 29.87 MB
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The Internet allows ethnographers to deposit the textual materials on which they base their writing in virtual archives. Electronically archived fieldwork documents can be accessed at any time by the writer, his or her readers, and the people studied. Johannes Fabian, a leading theorist of anthropological practice, argues that virtual archives have the potential to shift the emphasis in ethnographic writing from the monograph to commentary. In this insightful study, he returns to the recording of a conversation he had with a ritual healer in the Congolese town of Lubumbashi more than three decades ago. Fabian’s transcript and translation of the exchange have been deposited on a website (Language and Popular Culture in Africa), and in Ethnography as Commentary he provides a model of writing in the presence of a virtual archive. In his commentary, Fabian reconstructs his meeting with the healer Kahenga Mukonkwa Michel, in which the two discussed the ritual that Kahenga performed to protect Fabian’s home from burglary. Fabian reflects on the expectations and terminology that shape his description of Kahenga’s ritual and meditates on how ethnographic texts are made, considering the settings, the participants, the technologies, and the linguistic medium that influence the transcription and translation of a recording and thus fashion ethnographic knowledge. Turning more directly to Kahenga—as a practitioner, a person, and an ethnographic subject—and to the questions posed to him, Fabian reconsiders questions of ethnic identity, politics, and religion. While Fabian hopes that emerging anthropologists will share their fieldwork through virtual archives, he does not suggest that traditional ethnography will disappear. It will become part of a broader project facilitated by new media.
Category: Social Science

Talk About Prayer

Author : Johannes Fabian
ISBN : 9781137570178
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 78.69 MB
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Talk about Prayer is an experiment in writing ethnography, a commentary on a conversation with Mama Régine Tshitanda, the leader of a Charismatic prayer group (groupe de prière) in Lubumbashi (Katanga, Democratic Republic of the Congo) and members of her family in 1986. Fabian's research on expressions and practices of popular culture, including popular religion, was conducted during two visits to Katanga in 1985 and 1986. He discusses controversial issues in the study of the Global Charismatic Movement as seen at the time and gives a detailed account of the circumstances and events that led to the recorded meeting and how the ethnographic document on which this book is based was made. Central to the book is the authors understanding of anthropology of religion, in that research should be based on communicative ethnography, an approach that involves confrontation between researchers and interlocutors as well between their views of the world. Talk about Prayer is one such argument for keeping open the debate on a critical stance toward religion.
Category: Social Science

Ethnography And Virtual Worlds

Author : Tom Boellstorff
ISBN : 9780691149516
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 27.84 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
Category: Social Science

Time And The Other

Author : Johannes Fabian
ISBN : 9780231537483
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 34.13 MB
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Time and the Other is a classic work that critically reexamined the relationship between anthropologists and their subjects and reoriented the approach literary critics, philosophers, and historians took to the study of humankind. Johannes Fabian challenges the assumption that anthropologists live in the "here and now," that their subjects live in the "there and then," and that the "other" exists in a time not contemporary with our own. He also pinpoints the emergence, transformation, and differentiation of a variety of uses of time in the history of anthropology that set specific parameters between power and inequality. In this edition, a new postscript by the author revisits popular conceptions of the "other" and the attempt to produce and represent knowledge of other(s).
Category: Social Science

Postmodern Interviewing

Author : Jaber F. Gubrium
ISBN : 9780761928508
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 67.35 MB
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Postmodern Interviewing offers readers an exploration of the postmodern interview, providing cutting edge discussions of new horizons in inteviews, featuring reflexivity, poetics, and power as new ways of gathering experiential knowledge.
Category: Business & Economics

Interrogating Ethnography

Author : Steven Lubet
ISBN : 9780190655709
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 53.49 MB
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In this comprehensive review of urban ethnography, Steven Lubet encountered a field that relies heavily on anonymous sources, often as reported by a single investigator whose underlying data remain unseen. Upon digging into the details, he discovered too many ethnographic assertions that were dubious, exaggerated, tendentious, or just plain wrong. Employing the tools and techniques of a trial lawyer, Lubet uses original sources and contemporaneous documentation to explore the stories behind ethnographic narratives. Many turn out to be accurate, but others are revealed to be based on rumors, folklore, and unreliable hearsay. Interrogating Ethnography explains how qualitative social science would benefit from greater attention to the quality of evidence, and provides recommendations for bringing the field more closely in line with other fact-based disciplines such as law and journalism.
Category: Social Science

Ethnography And Language Policy

Author : Teresa L. McCarty
ISBN : 9781136860911
Genre : Education
File Size : 80.67 MB
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Illuminating, through ethnographic inquiry, how individual agents "make" language policy in everyday social practice, this volume advances the growing field of language planning and policy using a critical sociocultural approach. From this perspective, language policy is conceptualized not only as official acts and documents, but as language-regulating modes of human interaction, negotiation, and production mediated by relations of power. Using this conceptual framework, the volume addresses the impacts of globalization, diaspora, and transmigration on language practices and policies; language endangerment, revitalization, and maintenance; medium-of-instruction policies; literacy and biliteracy; language and ethnic/national identity; and the ethical tensions in conducting critical ethnographic language policy research. These issues are contextualized in case studies and reflective commentaries by leading scholars in the field. Ethnography and Language Policy extends previous work in the field, tapping into leading-edge interdisciplinary scholarship, and charting new directions. Recognizing that language policy is not merely or even primarily about language per se, but rather about power relations that structure social-linguistic hierarchies, the authors seek to expand policy discourses in ways that foster social justice for all.
Category: Education

Film As Ethnography

Author : Peter Ian Crawford
ISBN : 0719036836
Genre : Performing Arts
File Size : 70.9 MB
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This work examines the reasons why anthropologists have not used the camera as a research instrument or film as a means of communicating ethnographic knowledge. It suggests that images and words in this discipline operate on different logical levels; that they are hierarchically related; that whereas writings may encompass the images produced by film, the inverse of this cannot be true. The author argues for this position further by suggesting that the visual is to the written mode as "thin description" (giving a record of the form of behaviour) is to "thick description" (giving an account of meaning).
Category: Performing Arts

Politics And Pitfalls Of Japan Ethnography

Author : Jennifer Robertson
ISBN : 9781317967583
Genre : History
File Size : 72.3 MB
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Four anthropologists, Elise Edwards, Ann Elise Lewallen, Bridget Love and Tomomi Yamaguchi, draw on their fieldwork experiences in Japan to demonstrate collectively the inadequacy of both the Code of Ethics developed by the American Anthropological Association (AAA) and the dictates of Institutional Review Boards (IRB) when dealing with messy human realities. The four candidly and critically explore the existential dilemmas they were forced to confront with respect to this inadequacy, for the AAA’s code and IRBs consider neither the vulnerability and powerlessness of ethnographers nor the wholly unethical (and even criminal) deportment of some informants. As Jennifer Robertson points out in her Introduction, whereas the AAA’s Code tends to perpetuate the stereotype of more advantaged fieldworkers studying less advantaged peoples, IRBs appear to protect their home institutions (from possible litigation) rather than living and breathing people whose lives are often ethically compromised irrespective of the presence of an ethnographer. In her commentary, Sabine Frühstück, who incurred ample experience with ethical dilemmas in the course of her pathbreaking ethnographic research on Japan’s Self-Defense Forces, situates the four articles in a broader theoretical context, and emphasizes the link between political engagement and ethnographic accuracy. This book was previously published as a special issue of Critical Asian Studies.
Category: History

Modern Poetry And Ethnography

Author : S. Heuston
ISBN : 9780230119871
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 25.89 MB
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This study maps a new approach to the works of W.B. Yeats, Robert Frost, Robert Penn Warren, and Seamus Heaney. Sean Heuston combines interdisciplinary analysis, specifically ethnography, with close reading, and in so doing argues provocatively for the intersection of modern poetry studies and contemporary ethnographic theory.
Category: Literary Criticism