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Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Social Sciences > 0520057295
  1. Writing Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography
    Writing Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography
    Writing Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography
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  2. Writing Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography

    Delivery: 10-20 Working Days
    Customer Ratings (5 reviews)
    Price R463.00

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In these new essays, a group of experienced ethnographers, a literary critic, and a historian of anthropology, all known for advanced analytic work on ethnographic writing, place ethnography at the center of a new intersection of social history, interpretive anthropology, travel writing, discourse theory, and textual criticism.

The authors analyze classic examples of cultural description, from Goethe and Catlin to Malinowski, Evans-Pritchard, and Le Roy Ladurie, showing the persistence of allegorial patterns and rhetorical tropes. They assess recent experimental trends and explore the functions of orality, ethnicity, and power in ethnographic composition.

Writing Culture argues that ethnography is in the midst of a political and epistemological crisis: Western writers no longer portray non-Western peoples with unchallenged authority; the process of cultural representation is now inescapably contingent, historical, and contestable. The essays in this volume help us imagine a fully dialectical ethnography acting powerfully in the postmodern world system. They challenge all writers in the humanities and social sciences to rethink the poetics and politics of cultural invention.

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University of California Press
University of California Press
University of California Press
University of California Press
Most Helpful Customer Reviews

This was an excitingly ambitious collection of essays that capture the best spirit of the humanities in this awkward period we still seem to be in...
Stephen A. Tyler's essay on "Occult" documents might be the best, but the overall thrust of the collection is an earnest attempt to begin finding new ways to overcome the inherent problems of anthropology and related philosophical and sociological studies. One might say David Graeber is the main exemplar of this type of work today. On one hand, the attempt to sound scholarly has made folks in the humanities rely more and more on jargon and specialization in such ways that a large portion of the research is truly worthless. And on the other hand, part of the reason for this that anthropology still struggles to dissociate itself form a glib and abusive past.
Grad and undergrad students are still writing essays like these, and that is one major reason this book should be more widely known. It artfully states problems and... Read more
The distinction between science and the humanities has evolved over the course of history. Their perimeter has fluctuated: men of science used to be men of letters. In the nineteenth century, the constitution of a "science of man" robbed literature of its traditional object: moral philosophy, or the painting of man in all his social, cultural and psychological aspects. The relationship between science and literature is the story of a gradual encroachment, expropriation and conquest. Sociology and the other social sciences constituted themselves at the turn of the twentieth century by affirming a radical departure from literature. In a spirit of compromise, a great divide was offered. The qualities eliminated from science were localized in the category of "literature". On the side of literature, scientists conceded the domain of the imagination, the power of eloquence, the spirit of witticism and the pleasures of aestheticism. On the side of science, mirror qualities prevailed:... Read more
This collection constitutes another solid, suggestive and significant contribution to what is now one of the most dynamic arenas in the humanities and outside: Culture. The essays speak to all manner of representational practices and explore vital questions that no scholar interested in social dynamics of any kind can afford to ignore.
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