Taboo: Sex, Identity, and Erotic Subjectivity in Anthropological Fieldwork

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Don Kulick, Margaret Willson
Psychology Press, 1995 - Psychology - 283 pages
1 Review
Taboo looks at the ethnographer and sexuality in anthropological fieldwork and considers the many roles that sexuality plays in the anthropological production of knowledge and texts. How does the sexual identity that anthropologists have in their "home" society affect the kind of sexuality they are allowed to express in other cultures? How is the anthropologists' sexuality perceived by the people with whom he or she does research? How common is sexual violence and intimidation in the field and why is its existence virtually unmentioned in anthropology? These are but a few of the questions to be confronted, exploring from differing perspectives the depth of the influence this tabooed topic has on the entire practice and production of anthropology.
A long-overdue text for all students and lecturers of anthropology, many post-fieldwork readers will find a resonance of issues they have previously faced (or tried to avoid) and those who are still to undertake fieldwork will find articles that refer to other kinds of personal and professional experience as well as providing invaluable preparations for coping in the field.
 

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Contents

Lovers in the field Sex dominance and the female anthropologist
27
Falling in love with anOther lesbian Reflections on identity in fieldwork
49
The penetrating intellect On being white straight and male in Korea
74
Walking the fire line The erotic dimension of the fieldwork experience
105
Tricks friends and lovers Erotic encounters in the field
138
My chastity belt Avoiding seduction in Tonga
166
Fear and loving in the West Indies Research from the heart as well as the head
184
Rape in the field Reflections from a survivor
217
Perspective and difference sexualization the field and the ethnographer
249
Index
274
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Page 16 - The knowing self is partial in all its guises, never finished, whole, simply there and original; it is always constructed and stitched together imperfectly, and therefore able to join with another, to see together without claiming to be another.
Page 4 - This means, among other things, that what we consider "sexuality" was, in the pre-bourgeois world, a group of acts and institutions not necessarily linked to one another, or, if they were linked, combined in ways very different from our own. Intercourse, kinship, and the family, and gender, did not form anything like a "field
Page 2 - Definitions of sexuality became deeply linked to class and race because: Sex is regarded as that thing which par excellence is a threat to the moral order of Western civilization.
Page 16 - The split and contradictory self is the one who can interrogate positionings and be accountable, the one who can construct and join rational conversations and fantastic imaginings that change history. Splitting, not being, is the privileged image for feminist epistemologies of scientific knowledge. "Splitting...

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About the author (1995)

When knit and crochet designer Margret Willson is in design mode, she finds everything around her inspiring, from nature and architecture to world textiles. She often works from these inspirations, attempting to recreate something she's seen. In the end, it comes down to swatching--trying different stitches, making up new ones, ripping out and trying more until the yarn whispers, "Yes, that's what I want to be.

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