Off Stage/On Display: Intimacy and Ethnography in the Age of Public Culture

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Why are public identities so predictably, and often so radically, different from identities that flourish in realms of collective intimacy? Why does belonging to a group, knowing about it, or displaying its qualities to others require that certain aspects of identification be denied—not because they are false or stereotypical, but because they are thought to be accurate and indispensable signs of membership?

In Off Stage/On Display, ten scholars with diverse geographical, theoretical, and topical interests take a close, critical look at the vexed relationship between public identities and the intimate spheres in which they are made. They ask how scholars and activists can engage more creatively with problems encountered on this awkward terrain, which is now global both in location and political significance. Their answers, careful and suggestive, point to more effective strategies for representing aspects of identification that cannot be easily shown or, in an age of mass mediation, easily concealed.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The problem of intimacy and mediation is a fascinating and vital one for contemporary anthropology, particularly as more and more ethnographers come to engage with public cultural forms and processes. To the best of my knowledge, no other work has tackled this problem in such depth and from such a variety of perspectives. This work fills a significant gap in the literature on the ethnography of public culture." —Dominic Boyer,Cornell University

"This is a book of major importance in relation to the intellectual, practical, and political problems that have beset the field of anthropology. It recognizes the dangerous politics of cultural revelation, but insists that the alternative—the refusal to recognize cultural realities in favor of a bland discourse of identities—is unsatisfactory." —Sherry Ortner,Professor of Anthropology, Columbia University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804750073
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press
  • Publication date: 8/18/2004
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrew Shryock is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Michigan.

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Table of Contents

1 Other conscious/self aware : first thoughts on cultural intimacy and mass mediation 3
2 Striking Samburu and a mad cow : adventures in Anthropollywood 31
3 Egyptian cinema on stage and off 69
4 Wedded to the Republic : public intellectuals and intimacy-oriented publics in Turkey 101
5 Intimacy and hegemony in the New Europe : the politics of culture at Seville's universal exposition 131
6 Sexual secrets : Candomble, Brazil, and the multiple intimacies of the African diaspora 157
7 "X marks the future of Brazil" : protestant ethics and bedeviling mixtures in a Brazilian cultural heritage center 191
8 Intimacy and corruption in Thailand's age of transparency 225
9 Monolithic intentionality, belonging, and the production of state paranoia : a view through Stasi onto the late GDR 244
10 In the double remoteness of Arab Detroit : reflections on ethnography, culture work, and the intimate disciplines of Americanization 279
11 Intimating culture : local contexts and international power 317
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