Chapter

Fieldwork

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/9780226887531.003.0013
Fieldwork

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This chapter asks how, if at all, the ethnography of present situations urged in this book would affect cultural anthropology's understanding of what it is to do fieldwork. It suggests that the puzzles facing ethnographers as they confront present situations are but sharply drawn instances of the general problem of education itself in a society in which information is presumed to be available, and the disciplines are best understood to be conveniences. The ethnographer, like all writers, must find a place where stopping makes sense. Thus fieldwork—and hence ethnographic inquiry and ultimately the discipline of cultural anthropology itself—are disciplined in the same open-ended, inchoate, yet powerful way that texts are disciplined by the process of writing.

Keywords: refunctioned ethnography; ethnographers; ethnographic fieldwork; cultural anthropology; present situations; writing

Chapter.  3148 words. 

Subjects: Theory and Practice of Anthropology

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