Download After Writing Culture: Epistemology and Praxis in by Andrew Dawson, Jenny Hockey, Allison James PDF

By Andrew Dawson, Jenny Hockey, Allison James

This assortment addresses the topic of illustration in anthropology. Its fourteen articles discover many of the instructions within which modern anthropology is relocating, following the questions raised by means of the ''writing culture'' debates of the Eighties. It comprises dialogue of matters resembling: * the concept that of caste in Indian society * scottish ethnography * how goals are culturally conceptualised * representations of the relatives * tradition as conservation * gardens, subject parks and the anthropologist in Japan * illustration in rural Japan * people's position within the panorama of Northern Australia * representing id of the recent Zealand Maori.

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This is how theory and ethnography merge analytically. Tsing and Uma Adang created a new event (space) for themselves from these bits and pieces, and this space made them see things, themselves and each other, quite differently. It was a new position. Tsing gives us ethnography in vignettes. Fragmentation, even of the Representing the anthropologist’s predicament 21 ories, becomes an important part of her theoretical perspective: rather than succumb to the goal of grand theory building by pursuing the coherence of a single approach, her theoretical fragmentation mimics the fragmentation of people’s experiences and their response to their marginality.

When she explains the Meratus it is on the basis of her observation of their actions, not as a result of any special empathy. Yet a question remains. Since Tsing does not wish to overhomogenise, we cannot assume that Uma Adang, Induan Hilling and the other ‘eccentrics’ she brings to us are representative of the Meratus. If this is so, we cannot know if the ‘Meratus’ make the global connections which some eccentric personnages and the ethnographer delineate in their co-invented space. Tsing worries about anthropologists allowing nationalist politicians to frame their understanding of cultural meanings (1994:288).

Whereas early anthropology was closely implicated in setting up categories of racial difference which distinguished the (white) human from sub-humans who were fit only to serve as matter to be manipulated, anthropology from the advent of functionalism until nearly the present day sought, in its attempts to discern the logic of social formations, to constitute an image of a dispersed yet potentially unifiable human nature which could, with modernisation, be realised. Asad, in his critique of Gellner (1970), Identifying vs identifying with ‘the Other’ 41 indicates that as late as 1970 he was able to carry on a tradition of defining ‘cultural translation’ as a matter of determining implicit meanings—not the meanings the native speaker actually acknowledges in his speech, not even the meanings the native listener necessarily accepts, but those he is ‘potentially capable of sharing’ with scientific authority ‘in some ideal situation’….

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