Writing Secrecy

Ferdinand de Jong

in Masquerades of Modernity

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print October 2007 | ISBN: 9780748633197
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748670642 | DOI:
Writing Secrecy

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This chapter examines how the rhetoric of secrecy has contributed to a particular ethnographic understanding of culture and how it has sustained the positivist distinction between subject and object in ethnographic writing. It therefore deals with the politics and poetics of secrecy. Rather than assuming that a focus on the poetics of ethnography leads us away from its politics, the chapter works with the assumption that poetics and politics are intricately intertwined.

Keywords: secrecy; culture; ethnographic writing; ethnography

Chapter.  4623 words. 

Subjects: African Studies

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