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Knowing How to Know

Fieldwork and the Ethnographic Present

Edited by Narmala Halstead, Eric Hirsch, and Judith Okely

212 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-84545-438-8 $120.00/£85.00 hb Published (May 2008)

ISBN  978-1-84545-477-7 $29.95/£21.00 Pb Published (April 2008)

eISBN 978-0-85745-069-2 eBook


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“This book is an important stimulus to ongoing debate, and showcases some of the best of recent approaches and challenges to the ways we know what we know.”  ·  Ethos

This volume examines some crucial issues in the conduct of fieldwork and ethnography and provides new insights into the problems of constructing anthropological knowledge. How is anthropological knowledge created from fieldwork, whose knowledge is this, who determines what is of significance in any ethnographic context, and how is the fieldsite extended in both time and place?

Nine anthropologists examine these problems, drawing on diverse case studies. These range from the dilemmas of the religious refashioning of the ethnographer in contemporary Indonesia to the embodied knowledge of ballet performers, and from ignorance about post-colonial ritual innovations by the anthropologist in highland Papua to the skilled visions of slow food producers in Italy. It is a key text for new fieldworkers as much as for established researchers. The anthropological insights developed here are of interdisciplinary relevance: cultural studies scholars, sociologists and historians will be as interested as anthropologists in this re-evaluation of fieldwork and the project of ethnography.

Narmala Halstead is a Senior Lecturer in Anthropology at the University of East London and was awarded a Teaching Fellowship by this university. She was a lecturer at Cardiff University and also taught at Brunel University. She has carried out research in Guyana, the U.S. and the UK . She has published numerous articles examining fieldwork encounters, belonging, violence and related issues.

Eric Hirsch is a Reader in Social Anthropology at Brunel University. He has conducted research in Papua New Guinea and Greater London. His most recent book is the co-edited Transactions and Creations: Property Debates and the Stimulus of Melanesia (Berghahn, 2004).

Judith Okely, Emeritus Professor of Social Anthropology, Hull University, is Deputy Director of the International Gender Studies Centre and Research Associate, School of Anthropology, Oxford University. She co-edited Anthropology and Autobiography (1992) and is researching Anthropological Practice. Other publications include The Traveller-Gypsies (1983), Own or Other Culture (1996) and (co-ed) Identity and Networks (2007).

Related Link: European Association of Social-Anthropologists (EASA)
Series: Volume 9, EASA Series
Subject: Theory & Methodology in Anthropology
Area:

LC: GN346 .K66 2008

BL: YC.2009.a.17722

BISAC: SOC019000 SOCIAL SCIENCE/Methodology; SOC002000 SOCIAL SCIENCE/Anthropology/General

BIC: JHM Anthropology




Contents

Introduction: Experiencing the Ethnographic Present: Knowing through ‘Crisis’
Narmala Halstead

Chapter 1. Knowing, Not Knowing, Knowing Anew
Eric Hirsch

Chapter 2. The Transformation of Indigenous Knowledge into Anthropological Knowledge: Whose Knowledge Is It?
David P. Crandall

Chapter 3. Knowing without Notes
Judith Okely

Chapter 4. To Know the Dancer: Formations of Fieldwork in the Ballet World
Helena Wulff

Chapter 5. Knowledge as Gifts of Self and Other
Narmala Halstead

Chapter 6. Knowledge from the Body: Fieldwork, Power and the Acquisition of a New Self
Konstantinos Retsikas

Chapter 7. What is Sacred about that Pile of Stones at Mt Tendong? Serendipity, Complicity and Circumstantial Activism in the Production of Anthropological Knowledge of Sikkim, India
Vibha Arora

Chapter 8. Learning to See: World-views, Skilled Visions, Skilled Practice
Cristina Grasseni

Chapter 9. Rescuing Theory from the Nation
Viranjini Munasinghe

Notes on Contributors
Index

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