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:

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  • Theory and Practice of Anthropology


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This chapter considers the kind of writing an ethnography for present situations intended to produce. The practice of ethnography provides sufficient discipline to constitute an intellectually respectable enterprise. Instead of somehow “updating” a model it no longer seriously espouses, ethnography for present situations operationalizes, makes practical and internal, what was once offered as a critical (meta-, external) insight: ethnography is a form of writing. As such, the difficulty of communicating something significant about the world provides more than enough discipline to make the enterprise rigorous, intellectually respectable, and hold an institutional space within the university, that is, to constitute a discipline.

Keywords: refunctioned ethnography; ethnographers; ethnographic writing; cultural anthropology; discipline

Chapter.  3725 words. 

Subjects: Theory and Practice of Anthropology

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