Social Experience and Anthropological Knowledge

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Kirsten Hastrup, Peter Hervik
Routledge, 1994 - Social Science - 249 pages
Anthropological knowledge is embodied in words, and yet most social experience - such as fieldwork - lies beyond language. Social Experience and Anthropological Knowledge focuses on this paradox and on the actual processes leading from individual experiences in the field to the production of anthropological knowledge. The contributors emphasize the value of fieldwork in the process of knowledge production. Against the background of recent debates in anthropology on subjectivity, they challenge the distinction between subjectivity and objectivity, redefine what we should mean by 'empirical', and demonstrate the complexity of present-day epistemological problems by way of concrete examples. They trace the route from the field experience to the analytical results, showing how fieldwork enables the ethnographer to arrive at an understanding, not only of 'culture' or 'society', but also of the processes by which cultures and societies are transformed.

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Making sense of new experience
exploring female practices
reflexivity beyond

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