Download Anthropological Locations: Boundaries and Grounds of a Field by Akhil Gupta PDF

By Akhil Gupta

ISBN-10: 0520206800

ISBN-13: 9780520206809

One of the social sciences, anthropology is predicated such a lot essentially on "fieldwork"--the long term immersion otherwise of lifestyles because the foundation for wisdom. In an period whilst anthropologists are learning themes that withstand geographical localization, this e-book initiates a long-overdue dialogue of the political and epistemological implications of the disciplinary dedication to fieldwork.These leading edge, stimulating essays--carefully selected to shape a coherent whole--interrogate the inspiration of "the field," displaying how the idea that is traditionally developed and exploring the results of its dominance. The essays speak about anthropological paintings performed in locations (in refugee camps, on tv) or between populations (gays and lesbians, homeless humans within the usa) that problem the normal limitations of "the field." The individuals recommend replacement methodologies applicable for modern difficulties and eventually suggest a reformation of the self-discipline of anthropology.

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Sample text

Analogues and equivalents to the objects that nineteenth-century natural historians traded are bought and sold today. When biological organisms are marketed, however, they are supplied by specialized businesses. Scientists cannot finance their research as Haddon did, lest they lose face-or worse, find themselves treated as amateurs rather than professionals-since such behavior would be presumptive evidence that their work was of such low caliber that they could not secure support from established patrons.

The anthropologist has been assumed to be Western, so the field site must be non-Western. I2 Preferred sites have been small communities, based on the notion that both culture and social structure are most effectively observed (by anthropological methods) writ small. I3 Practice, happily, accords less and less with these prescriptions, as the tenets that made them appear to be common sense come under scrutiny and as the political-economy of the discipline is gradually altered. 7I The Historically Situated Field .

Indeed, close inspection of any field in any country reveals idiosyncratic local traditions, so that one may stress the peculiarities of Chicago sociology, say, or Berlin physics, or Cambridge mathematics. But these local variations may be understood as dialects rather than languages, and, in fact, language communities offer our most reliable guide to coherent disciplinary populations. I write here, therefore, of Anglophone anthropology, with emphasis on its characteristic mode of sociocultural analysis.

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