By Ruth Behar
Eloquently interweaving ethnography and memoir, award-winning anthropologist Ruth Behar bargains a brand new conception and perform for humanistic anthropology. She proposes an anthropology that's lived and written in a private voice. She does so within the desire that it'll lead us towards higher intensity of figuring out and feeling, not just in modern anthropology, yet in all acts of witnessing.
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Extra resources for The Vulnerable Observer: Anthropology That Breaks Your Heart
We distinguish between falsehood and outrageous falsehood, or between lies and whoppers. Nevertheless, the myth or ideal of a strict two-valued logic tends to pervade our current habitual thinking about thought. This does not matter too much - but it is important to stress that the rules and gradings which govern the various "strands" 53 C O M M U N I T Y TO SOCIETY themselves also come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Sharp and two-valued evaluations have no monopoly. , are all there, ready to be found.
This endows his politics with a natural vindication, and his meteorology with a social sanction. This is the life which the expression leads within its speech community, and it knows no other. Consider the matrix of the real multiple use of the expression: Raining Priest says yes Priest silent Priest says no 47 Ambiguous N o t raining COMMUNITY TO SOCIETY Referentialists, as one may call them, have imposed the referential use of language as somehow primary and basic onto pre-division-of-labour man.
Agriculture involves labour with delayed return. A very loose and diffuse social organization, insensitive to the retention of obligations over time, cannot ensure the delivery of the delayed fruits for its members. Anthropologists have long ago abandoned the idea of primitive sexual promiscuity, but a kind of economic/moral equivalent, the transience of productive relations, seems to be alive and well. So agriculture can only be initiated by a community which, for some reason, already possesses a sense of long-term obligation and permanent relations.
The Vulnerable Observer: Anthropology That Breaks Your Heart by Ruth Behar