The Fieldwork Encounter and the Making of Truth
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Challenges to ethnographic authority and to the ethics of representation have led many contemporary anthropologists to abandon fieldwork in favor of strategies of theoretical puppeteering, textual analysis, and surrogate ethnography. In Being There, John Borneman and Abdellah Hammoudi argue that ethnographies based on these strategies elide important insights. To demonstrate the power and knowledge attained through the fieldwork experience, they have gathered essays by anthropologists working in Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tanzania, the Canadian Arctic, India, Germany, and Russia that shift attention back to the subtle dynamics of the ethnographic encounter. From an Inuit village to the foothills of Kilimanjaro, each account illustrates how, despite its challenges, fieldwork yields important insights outside the reach of textual analysis.
University of California Press, 9780520257764, 288pp.
Publication Date: February 4, 2009
About the Author
John Borneman and Abdellah Hammoudi are both Professors of Anthropology at Princeton University. Borneman's most recent book is Syrian Episodes: Sons, Fathers, and an Anthropologist in Aleppo, and Hammoudi's is A Season in Mecca: Narrative of a Pilgrimage.