Download e-book for iPad: Navigators of the Contemporary: Why Ethnography Matters by David A. Westbrook

By David A. Westbrook

ISBN-10: 0226887510

ISBN-13: 9780226887517

ISBN-10: 0226887529

ISBN-13: 9780226887524

As a dead ringer for anthropologists exploring unique locales and filling in blanks at the map has light, the concept that cultural anthropology has a lot to assert in regards to the modern global has likewise lowered. In an more and more smaller international, how can anthropology support us to take on the worries of a world society? David A. Westbrook argues that the normal instrument of the cultural anthropologist—ethnography—can nonetheless functionality as an intellectually fascinating approach to comprehend our interconnected, but mysterious worlds.             Navigators of the Contemporary describes the altering nature of ethnography as anthropologists use it to research locations toward domestic. Westbrook keeps conversational sort of ethnography will help us glance past our assumptions and achieve new perception into arenas of latest existence akin to businesses, monetary associations, technological know-how, the army, and faith. Westbrook’s witty, soaking up publication is a pleasant problem to anthropologists to make clear the current and sign up for broader streams of highbrow lifestyles. And for these outdoors the self-discipline, his inspiring imaginative and prescient of ethnography opens up the chance of knowing our personal international in a lot better depth.

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Sample text

My professional career was by that time already pretty much over. I had received tenure and promotion to full professor, and I had no desire for another job. Nor did I want to run for office on these ideas. Others, people who had power already and could affect policy now, needed these ideas. Let me be more direct: I wanted people who were in charge of “kineti­ cally” addressing the enemies of my nation, that is, killing them, to imagine their world, and so their missions, somewhat differently. How to go about changing these minds?

Ethnography in the service of knowing the enemy, as a kind of intelligence, may be a simply good thing in a war that is clearly defined and where the intentions of the powerful are not under debate. Whether or not such wars exist, the current wars are decidedly more ambiguous. However necessary they may be, security deployments of old-fashioned ethnography, Malinowski militant, what the military now calls operations on “human terrain,” do little to interrogate the exercise of power, because they are instrumental.

I was getting a lot of exercise, ski racing with the locals, building onto the house, and so forth. My comeuppance arrived soon enough. I found myself in possession of—there was no denying it—a set of political ideas, which I think are ter­ ribly important, not to me, but to this country. And so I felt patriotically compelled to ask, how could I actually do politics with these ideas? (Pa­ triotism is not a sentiment with which postmodern critical theorists are en­ tirely comfortable, but there it was.

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Navigators of the Contemporary: Why Ethnography Matters by David A. Westbrook

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