James Clifford George E. Marcus
Writing Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography
March 14, 2019 Comments.. 746
Writing Culture The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography In these new essays a group of experienced ethnographers a literary critic and a historian of anthropology all known for advanced analytic work on ethnographic writing place ethnography at the ce

  • Title: Writing Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography
  • Author: James Clifford George E. Marcus
  • ISBN: 9780520057296
  • Page: 284
  • Format: Paperback
  • In these new essays, a group of experienced ethnographers, a literary critic, and a historian of anthropology, all known for advanced analytic work on ethnographic writing, place ethnography at the center of a new intersection of social history, interpretive anthropology, travel writing, discourse theory, and textual criticism.The authors analyze classic examples of culturIn these new essays, a group of experienced ethnographers, a literary critic, and a historian of anthropology, all known for advanced analytic work on ethnographic writing, place ethnography at the center of a new intersection of social history, interpretive anthropology, travel writing, discourse theory, and textual criticism.The authors analyze classic examples of cultural description, from Goethe and Catlin to Malinowski, Evans Pritchard, and Le Roy Ladurie, showing the persistence of allegorial patterns and rhetorical tropes They assess recent experimental trends and explore the functions of orality, ethnicity, and power in ethnographic composition Writing Culture argues that ethnography is in the midst of a political and epistemological crisis Western writers no longer portray non Western peoples with unchallenged authority the process of cultural representation is now inescapably contingent, historical, and contestable The essays in this volume help us imagine a fully dialectical ethnography acting powerfully in the postmodern world system They challenge all writers in the humanities and social sciences to rethink the poetics and politics of cultural invention.

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    1 Blog on “Writing Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography

    1. Brenda says:

      Clifford, James & George E. Marcus, editors. WRITING CULTURE: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986.Between the introduction by James Clifford and the afterword piece by George E. Marcus, Writing Culture is an impressive undertaking by seven authorities in various fields of academic endeavor. The essays produced were a result of intensive discussions held at the School of American Research in Sante Fe, New Mexico in 1984. The essays are revi [...]

    2. Jonathan says:

      As much as I loved this book and have relied on it during my schooling, I think I can now say I am done with the intellectual hand wringing done within the discipline of Anthropology. Ethnography is a tough undertaking, we will necessarily do a violence to our subjects, but we aren't on the veranda anymore. If we engage our subjects as equals, if we don't writed in that staid, tired way then the discourse in our field grows and moves us forward - to learning a bit more about those we study with [...]

    3. Chris Peterson says:

      Easily the worst book I have ever had to suffer through. Half-baked, pretentious nonsense. My copy is full of penciled in anger in the margins.

    4. Shane Wallis says:

      I find myself with mixed feelings at the end of this book. Some of the essays within this book I found to be incredibly entertaining and accesible. Others however were, unfortunately, quite beyond me. This unfortunately dampened my ability to appreciate their work. Of the essays which I was able to follow more easily, I did find they presented interesting perspectives. Especially the links between ethnographic writing and earlier forms of travelogues. The critique of Clifford Geertz's Balinese C [...]

    5. Eldiablodehowies says:

      Post-mods really do have it out for feminist

    6. ND says:

      dense but useful

    7. Natalie says:

      I read this book ten years ago (it was a little old even then), and I'm reading it again now. It is still totally applicable to a variety of disciplines that represent Others--and I'm concerned here specifically with Buddhist studies, which seems to have ignored the political issues of representation. What allegories do we enact, what fears do we project, what nostalgia do we inscribe, as we lay claim to the authoritative version of Buddhist histories? But I blather. This book rocks, and it's st [...]

    8. Adam Hoffritz says:

      If you like post-modernism in anthropology this is the book for you. This is in a way what started a revolution in ethnographic writing and there are some very useful comments, ideas and good critique on ethnographic in there. However, there are many gaps in the way authors present their arguments and the authors seem to reject all ideas exept their own and I find it often to arrogant. An ok book I think.

    9. Lululan says:

      out of date

    10. Risa says:

      Writing Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography (A School of American Research advanced seminar) by James Clifford (1986)

    11. Chris Antonsen says:

      Not every essay in this anthology is great, but the work is overall. It should be in every ethnographic fieldworker's personal collection.

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