had been like to be ananthropologist n the1930s. Though herewere many other acetsof Richards's work thatcould have been singledout,DrCaplan choseinthis lecture to focusonethnography,whichwasa long-standing nterestof Richards's:shepublishedanarticlein
1939 on 'Thedevelopmentoffield-work methodsnsocial anthropology',which stressestheelement of selection,unconscious orconscious, in collectingfacts,andlaterinhercareer she reflected onthe difference betweenFrench and Britishinterpretations fAfrican religion.In thisandother ways,someofRichards's concernsanticipatethoseof'post-modernist',reflexiveanthropology.Dr Pat Caplan isprincipal lecturerinsocialanthropologyatGoldsmiths'College,London.
her own activity is not scrutinized (K. Dwyer 1982, seealso Mead 197 ).Some anthropologistsare now lookingat how textsare constructed, what goes in, and whatisleft out.It
has even been suggested that a 'full account' would in-clude intermediatewritten versions of atext,as well asthe final published versions (Marcusand Cushman1982), although goodness knows who would publish letalone read such an account.Anthropologists who write standardmonographs arenow criticized not onlyforfailingtoinclude,let alonescrutinize the self,but also for theirrepresentationof
andparticularlyheir inform-ants.By adoptingacontemplativestance the ethno-
grapher hields the selfanddeniesthat the other affects
theself; furthermore,uchrepresentation mpliesthat
whereas the self ('us')ismonolithic, the other ('them')is specific (Marcus and Cushman 1982). Yet to under-standtheother,wewouldhaveto exposethe self
initswidest sense, since it is, like the other, culturallymedi-ated and historically constructed K. Dwyer 1982).So how dowecharacterizeethnographers'nform-ants-as authors?collaborators? ssistants?colleagues?(Ellen 1984). Theythemselves oftenshapeourknowl-edge morethan werealize.Ithasbeensuggested,forexample,that Evans-Pritchardwas forced to usepartici-pantobservationamongthe Nuer becausehehadno in-formantsRosaldo 1986).We need to take accountof thedouble mediationofdata by the very presence of the ethnographerandbythe kind of self- reflectionswe demand of oursubjects(Rabinow 1977),as well as theproblemsoftranslation,ofthe effect of theethnographer's linguisticcom-petence uponthesubjects' responses,and on thedif-ference between 'weak'and'strong' languages (K.Dwyer 1982,Asad1986).Ifanthropologists annotthinklike natives, how is a knowledge of how they think,perceiveandactpossible (Geertz 1977)?Thequestionnowisnotsimply'what doessomethingmean?' Butrather,Howdoweknowwhatthismeansfor them?'Manyhavearguedthatanthropologyisinevitablyhermeneutic,an approachwhich Ricoeur definesas thecomprehensionofthe selfbythedetourof the other.But,ofcourse,we need toacknowledge,
and thishap-pensbutrarely,thatinmakingthisdetour,theself alsochanges.This is the hermeneuticcircle,whichmeans,essentially,thatwe are allintimately (personally,so-ciallyandhistorically)involved with what
weclaimtoknow.Heideggerisreportedto have said that whatisdecisiveisnotto
getoutof thecircle,but to come intoitintheright way,forinthe circle is hiddenthepossi-bilityof the mostprimordialkindofknowing;he seestruthto be foundinsilenceor thespacesbetweenwords.Thus,inshort,anethnographyshould not be homo-logical, plagiaristic, positivist, essentialist,oranalogi-cal. The name of thegamenow isaesthetics, pastiche,collage, juxtaposition, framing, heteroglossia, poly-phony/polyvocality, or at the very least, dialogue.And to whom do we represent this culture? What isour audience? Other anthropologists? Administra-tors/aid personnel? The lay reader? (do non-anthropo-logists
ead ethnographic exts?). What about thesubjects themselves, who are often ignored as an audi-ence even by the postmodernists (e.g. Marcus andCushman1982) or the newly observed (by anthropolog-ists anyway) westerners? For whom
we writing?And in the process of trying to change what we writeand the way we write it, are we not also changing read-ing itself, and our relationshipwith our readers?Thiscurrentreflexive movement should not be over-estimated: the number of itspractitioners s relativelysmall,and the samenames recurwithalmost monoto-
nous regularity. Furthermore, he numberofthose ac-tually writing 'experimentalethnography' (as opposedto ananthropologyofethnography)is even smaller(e.g.Shostak1983,K.Dwyer 1982,Crapanzano1980,1986). Nor should we over-estimate itsinnovativeness:we can find long-standing debatesinanthropologywhich presage these developments. Questions such aswhether anthropology is an art (most oftenseen asabranch ofhistory)or ascienceandwhether or not it ispossibleto dotruly objectiveethnographyhavebeenaround for alongtime(Evans-Pritchard961, Maquet1964).Indeed, it is striking that some Britishsocial anthro-pology,even in theheydayofahistoricalstructural-functionalism,engagedwithanthropologyas
history, anidea recently revived as some Europeanhistorianshavebegunto writemore likeanthropologists e.g. Macfar-lane1970,LeRoyLadurie1978, Ginzburg 1980),andsomeethnographieshave becomehistories
(e.g.Lan1985,Nash1979, Taussig 1980).But inNorthAmerica,muchanthropologyhas tended tobecomemoreintro-spectiveand closer to literature:tisperhapsnotinsig-nificantthatquiteanumber of Americananthropolog-ists arepoets.Evenbefore theriseofreflexiveanthropology,herewas agenre of so-called 'confessional'literature,ofwhich one of theearliest examples isLauraBohannan'sReturntoLaughter, originally publishedin1954,underan assumedname,andinthe form of a novel. For alongtimeitwas theonlybook of its kinduntil
moreexperiential ethnographicaccountsbegantoemergeinthemid1960s,such as HortensePowdermaker'sStrangerand Friend(1966).This trendoverlappedwith anotherdebate aboutethics, accountability,andrelevance,sometimes inter-preted narrowly asaconcern aboutconfidentialityandpotentialharm toinformants,but also morewidelyinterms ofplagiarism, alienation,and dehumanization.nitsturn,this formedpartof the criticaltheoryof the1960s and 1970s which tookanthropologyo task foritslinkswithcolonialism, pointingoutthatitssilenceonthe subject ofEuropean expansionhasshapedtradi-tionalethnographicdiscourse(seePratt1986).Criticalanthropology arguedthatanthropologyoftenpretendsto beapoliticalandtherebystandsaccusedofdefendingthe statusquo;itignoresthe context ofthe widerscene,whether this beregion, nation-state,orworldsystem.Furthermore,t waspointedout thatethnographersarerepresentativesfdominantmetropolitanultureswhichmayinlarge partberesponsibleforthepovertyandop-pressionof theiranthropological ubjects. This leads toan inevitableinequalityofresearcher and researched(K. Dwyer 1982).Out of thiscorpusof criticalanthropologyhas comeaplea bysome for a differentwayofdoing fieldwork,inwhichthesubjects both help formulateheproblems,assist in the collection of data, and are fedback writtenmaterial for their comment before it ispublished(Huizer et al. 1979), the so- called'action-research',much of which has been inspired by thework of PaoloFreire. Some wouldgo so far as to argue that forpracti-cal and ethical reasons, such researchshould or couldonly be carried out in one's owncountry
that weshould all be practising Anthropology at Home,whichof course, spells the end of exoticism, or perhaps,formany ethnographers,he exoticization of the West.
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