Description : In the 1980s, George Marcus spearheaded a major critique of cultural anthropology, expressed most clearly in the landmark book Writing Culture, which he coedited with James Clifford. Ethnography through Thick and Thin updates and advances that critique for the late 1990s. Marcus presents a series of penetrating and provocative essays on the changes that continue to sweep across anthropology. He examines, in particular, how the discipline's central practice of ethnography has been changed by "multi-sited" approaches to anthropology and how new research patterns are transforming anthropologists' careers. Marcus rejects the view, often expressed, that these changes are undermining anthropology. The combination of traditional ethnography with scholarly experimentation, he argues, will only make the discipline more lively and diverse. The book is divided into three main parts. In the first, Marcus shows how ethnographers' tradition of defining fieldwork in terms of peoples and places is now being challenged by the need to study culture by exploring connections, parallels, and contrasts among a variety of often seemingly incommensurate sites. The second part illustrates this emergent multi-sited condition of research by reflecting it in some of Marcus's own past research on Tongan elites and dynastic American fortunes. In the final section, which includes the previously unpublished essay "Sticking with Ethnography through Thick and Thin," Marcus examines the evolving professional culture of anthropology and the predicaments of its new scholars. He shows how students have increasingly been drawn to the field as much by such powerful interdisciplinary movements as feminism, postcolonial studies, and cultural studies as by anthropology's own traditions. He also considers the impact of demographic changes within the discipline--in particular the fact that anthropologists are no longer almost exclusively Euro-Americans studying non-Euro-Americans. These changes raise new issues about the identities of anthropologists in relation to those they study, and indeed, about what is to define standards of ethnographic scholarship. Filled with keen and highly illuminating observations, Ethnography through Thick and Thin will stimulate fresh debate about the past, present, and future of a discipline undergoing profound transformations.
Description : In this volume some of the leading scholars working in Native North America explore contemporary perspectives on Native culture, history, and representation. Written in honor of the anthropologist Raymond D. Fogelson, the volume charts the currents of contemporary scholarship while offering an invigorating challenge to researchers in the field. The essays employ a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches and range widely across time and space. The introduction and first section consider the origins and legacies of various strands of interpretation, while the second part examines the relationship among culture, power, and creativity. The third part focuses on the cultural construction and experience of history, and the volume closes with essays on identity, difference, and appropriation in several historical and cultural contexts. Aimed at a broad interdisciplinary audience, the volume offers an excellent overview of contemporary perspectives on Native peoples.
Description : In this follow-up to the highly successful Ethnography Unbound, Michael Burawoy and nine colleagues break the bounds of conventional sociology, to explore the mutual shaping of local struggles and global forces. In contrast to the lofty debates between radical theorists, these nine studies excavate the dynamics and histories of globalization by extending out from the concrete, everyday world. The authors were participant observers in diverse struggles over extending citizenship, medicalizing breast cancer, dumping toxic waste, privatizing nursing homes, the degradation of work, the withdrawal of welfare rights, and the elaboration of body politics. From their insider vantage points, they show how groups negotiate, circumvent, challenge, and even re-create the complex global web that entangles them. Traversing continents and extending over three years, this collaborative research developed its own distinctive method of "grounded globalization" to grasp the evaporation of traditional workplaces, the dissolution of enclaved communities, and the fluidity of identities. Forged between the local and global, these compelling essays make a powerful case for ethnography's insight into global dynamics.
Description : Contemporary reception study has developed a diversity of approaches and methods, including the institutional, textual, historical, authorial, and reader-response, which, to a greater or lesser extent, acknowledge the various ways in which readers have found texts-- literature, television shows, movies, and newspapers--meaningful. This collection emphasizes that new diversity, examining movies, newspapers, fans, television shows, and traditional American as well as modern Hispanic, Black, and Women's literature. The essays on literature include James Machor on Melville's short fiction, Kenneth Roemer on Edward Bellamy's utopian work Looking Backward, Amy Blair on the popularity of Sinclair Lewis's Main Street, Marcial Gonzalez on Danny Santiago and his Hispanic novel Famous All Over Town, and Leonard Diepeveen on modernist fiction and criticism. The theoretical essays on reader-oriented criticism include Patsy Schweickart on interpretation and the ethics of careand Jack Bratich on active audiences. Media versions of response criticism include Andrea Press and Camille Johnson's ethnographic analysis of fans of the Oprah Winfrey Show, Janet Staiger on Robert Aldrich's film version of Mickey Spillane's Kiss Me Deadly, and Rhiannon Bury on the fans of the HBO television show Six Feet Under. History-of-the-book versions include Barbara Hochman on the popularity of the 1890s editions of Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin, Ellen Garvey on nineteenth-century scrapbooks of newspaper, and David Nord on early twentieth-century newspapers' relations to audience charges of bias and unfairness. Poststructuralist studies include Philip Goldstein on Richard Wright's Native Son, Steve Mailloux on Reading Lolita in Tehran, and Tony Bennett on the cultural analyses of Pierre Bourdieu. The collection concludes with essays by Janice Radway on the limits of these methods and on the possibility of new forms of sociological and anthropological reception study and byToby Miller on the "reception deception" in relation to the worldwide distribution and reception of movies and television shows.
Description : As the image of anthropologists exploring exotic locales and filling in blanks on the map has faded, the idea that cultural anthropology has much to say about the contemporary world has likewise diminished. In an increasingly smaller world, how can anthropology help us to tackle the concerns of a global society? David A. Westbrook argues that the traditional tool of the cultural anthropologist—ethnography—can still function as an intellectually exciting way to understand our interconnected, yet mysterious worlds. Navigators of the Contemporary describes the changing nature of ethnography as anthropologists use it to analyze places closer to home. Westbrook maintains that a conversational style of ethnography can help us look beyond our assumptions and gain new insight into arenas of contemporary life such as corporations, financial institutions, science, the military, and religion. Westbrook’s witty, absorbing book is a friendly challenge to anthropologists to shed light on the present and join broader streams of intellectual life. And for those outside the discipline, his inspiring vision of ethnography opens up the prospect of understanding our own world in much greater depth.
Description : The Sathya Sai global civil religious movement incorporates Hindu and Muslim practices, Buddhist, Christian, and Zoroastrian influences, and "New Age"-style rituals and beliefs. Shri Sathya Sai Baba, its charismatic and controversial leader, attracts several million adherents from various national, ethnic, and religious backgrounds. In a dynamic account of the Sathya Sai movement's explosive growth, Winged Faith argues for a rethinking of globalization and the politics of identity in a religiously plural world. This study considers a new kind of cosmopolitanism located in an alternate understanding of difference and contestation. It considers how acts of "sacred spectating" and illusion, "moral stakeholding" and the problems of community are debated and experienced. A thrilling study of a transcultural and transurban phenomenon that questions narratives of self and being, circuits of sacred mobility, and the politics of affect, Winged Faith suggests new methods for discussing religion in a globalizing world and introduces readers to an easily critiqued yet not fully understood community.
Description : In this volume, progressive experts survey recent trends in qualitative study, which relies on small sample groups and interview data to better represent the context and complexity of social work practice. Chapters address different approaches to qualitative inquiry, applications to essential areas of research and practice, integration of qualitative and quantitative methods, and epistemological issues. This second edition brings even greater depth and relevance to social work qualitative research, including new material that tackles traditional research concerns, such as data quality, ethics, and epistemological stances, and updated techniques in data collection and analysis. To increase the usefulness for students and researchers, the editors have reorganized the text to present basic principles first and then their applications, and they have increased their focus on ethics, values, and theory. New and revised illustrative studies highlight more than ever the connection between effective research and improved social functioning among individuals and groups. The collection continues to feature scholars and practitioners who have shaped the social work research practice canon for more than twenty years, while also adding the innovative work of up-and-coming talent.
Description : Tales of the Barbarians traces the creation of new mythologies in the wake of Roman expansion westward to the Atlantic, and offers the first application of modern ethnographic theory to ancient material. Investigates the connections between empire and knowledge at the turn of the millennia, and the creation of new histories in the Roman West Explores how ancient geography, local histories and the stories of wandering heroes were woven together by Greek scholars and local experts Offers a fresh perspective by examining passages from ancient writers in a new light
Description : When do words and actions empower? When do they betray? Based on ethnographic fieldwork, this volume tracks the repercussions of advocacy activism against house demolitions in 'unrecognised' Arab-Bedouin villages in Israel's southern 'internal frontier'. It highlights the repercussions of activism for victims, fund-raisers and activists. The ethnographic episodes show how humanitarian aid intervention and indigenous identity politics can turn into a double-edged sword. Ironically, institutional lobbying for coexistence and its interpretative categories can sometimes perpetuate different forms of subjugation. The volume also shows how, beyond the institutional lobbying, novel figures of activism emerge: informal networks create non-sectarian, cross-cutting countercultures and rethink human-environment relationships. These experimental political subjects redefine the categories of the conflict and elude the logic of zero-sum games; they point towards a shifting paradigm in current ethnopolitics. Koensler outlines an ethnographic approach for the study of social movements that follows multiple relations around mobilisations rather than studying activism in itself. This perspective thus becomes relevant for scholars and activists engaged with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and those interested in global rights discourses.