Chapter

What?

in Navigators of the Contemporary

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2008 | ISBN: 9780226887517
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226887531 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226887531.003.0005
What?

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What might refunctioned ethnography, an ethnography appropriate for thinking through present situations, be? This entire book is an effort to describe, and hence loosely define, at least one ethnography for present situations. This chapter sets the stage, providing some access to the thicket of the author's conversations with his anthropologist friends. Any number of paths are conceivable, but it takes the troublingly self-contradictory notion of “culture.” On the one hand, contemporary conditions would seem to be deeply hostile to general conceptions of culture. On the other, some idea of “culture” seems necessary if we are to make any sense out of life, even contemporary life.

Keywords: ethnography; anthropology; culture; contemporary life

Chapter.  2301 words. 

Subjects: Theory and Practice of Anthropology

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