Works and Lives: The Anthropologist as Author

Works and Lives: The Anthropologist as Author

by Clifford Geertz, Geertz Clifford
     
 

ISBN-10: 0804717478

ISBN-13: 9780804717472

Pub. Date: 06/01/1989

Publisher: Stanford University Press


The illusion that ethnography is a matter of sorting strange and irregular facts into familiar and orderly categories—this is magic, that is technology—has long since been exploded. What it is instead, however, is less clear. That it might be a kind of writing, putting things to paper, has now and then occurred to those engaged in producing it, consuming…  See more details below

Overview


The illusion that ethnography is a matter of sorting strange and irregular facts into familiar and orderly categories—this is magic, that is technology—has long since been exploded. What it is instead, however, is less clear. That it might be a kind of writing, putting things to paper, has now and then occurred to those engaged in producing it, consuming it, or both. But the examination of it as such has been impeded by several considerations, none of them very reasonable. One of these, especially weighty among the producers, has been simply that it is an unanthropological sort of thing to do. What a proper ethnographer ought properly to be doing is going out to places, coming back with information about how people live there, and making that information available to the professional community in practical form, not lounging about in libraries reflecting on literary questions. Excessive concern, which in practice usually means any concern at all, with how ethnographic texts are constructed seems like an unhealthy self-absorption—time wasting at best, hypochondriacal at worst. The advantage of shifting at least part of our attention from the fascinations of field work, which have held us so long in thrall, to those of writing is not only that this difficulty will become more clearly understood, but also that we shall learn to read with a more percipient eye. A hundred and fifteen years (if we date our profession, as conventionally, from Tylor) of asseverational prose and literary innocence is long enough.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780804717472
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
Publication date:
06/01/1989
Edition description:
1
Pages:
168
Sales rank:
1,254,826
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

1. Being There: Anthropology and the Scene of Writing 2. The World in a Text: How to Read 'Tristes Tropiques' 3. Slide Show: Evans-Pritchard's African Transparencies 4. I-Witnessing: Malinowski's Children 5. Us/Not-Us: Benedict's Travels 6. Being Here: Whose Life Is It Anyway?I ndex students and academics in anthropology, sociology, history, literature.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >