Chapter

Textualism and Anthropology: On the Ethnographic Encounter, or an Experience in the Hajj

Abdellah Hammoudi

in Being There

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2009 | ISBN: 9780520257757
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520943438 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520257757.003.0002
Textualism and Anthropology: On the Ethnographic Encounter, or an Experience in the Hajj

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This chapter focuses on the specific form of textualism that moves away from fieldwork, in the sense of a prolonged encounter and conversation with some people, and privileges encounter through the reading of texts and the use of textual strategies. It deals with the textualisms of the Foucauldian and Derridean sort, discourse and genealogy, deconstruction and dissemination. It tracks the outcome of these two strategies in the study of ritual of the Hajj. The study is supported by an example from the Middle East, the area where fieldwork on religious practices of the Hajj is carried out. The textualisms dealt with, and move away from, the people who have produced the discursive tradition and the practices that that tradition authorizes, introducing a surrogate form of ethnography, i.e. textual strategies that produce a reality effect, or an effect of the concrete.

Keywords: textualism; fieldwork; Hajj; ethnography; Foucauldian; Derridean

Chapter.  11249 words. 

Subjects: Theory and Practice of Anthropology

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