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 based such a lot essentially on "fieldwork"--the long term immersion differently of existence because the foundation for wisdom. In an period whilst anthropologists are learning subject matters that face up to geographical localization, this booklet initiates a long-overdue dialogue of the political and epistemological implications of the disciplinary dedication to fieldwork.These cutting edge, stimulating essays--carefully selected to shape a coherent whole--interrogate the proposal of "the field," displaying how the idea that is traditionally built and exploring the implications of its dominance. The essays talk about anthropological paintings performed in areas (in refugee camps, on tv) or between populations (gays and lesbians, homeless humans within the usa) that problem the normal barriers of "the field." The participants recommend replacement methodologies acceptable for modern difficulties and finally suggest a reformation of the self-discipline of anthropology.

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Extra info for Anthropological Locations: Boundaries and Grounds of a Field Science

Sample text

Indeed, . , Smith 1960: esp. 14-76). Until museums received significant state and private philanthropic support at the end of the nineteenth century, even the most valuable natural history commodities were most likely to be housed in private residences. Moreover, as should be intuitively obvious, the contemplation of the subjects of natural history in sites different from their field habitats had significant interpretive consequences. Consider, for example, the travels of sea creatures collected by nineteenth-century British and French naturalists.

These collectors supplied written descriptions, physical specimens, and drawn representations (which were characteristic yields of every significant expedition from the dawn of the age of exploration, and, until photography became common, were routine features of naturalists' practice, not just the products of specialist artists). The act of analyzing data collected by others was believed to be so straightforward that knowledge of scientific materials' provenance was considered virtually irrelevant to their interpretation.

Articulating the perspective of fiedworkers of every type, A. C. Haddon wrote that only from direct inspection could the anthropologist understand "native actions ... 9 Moreover, he noted that the fusion of the roles of observer and theorist that he recommended to anthropologists had already been effected in kindred scientific fields with admirable results (Haddon 1905: 511-512). Given the transformed character of the university, it is also not surprising that the new professional creed represented the introduction of practical concerns into the academy, as well as the extension of an age-old philosophic conflict.

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


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