27 Kasım 2011 Pazar

conceptualise and interpret

... [W]here does ethnography begin if not in a disciplined attempt to discover and describe the symbolic resources with which the members of a society conceptualize and interpret their experience?' Keith H. Basso and Henry A. Selby, Meaning In Anthropology (Albuquerque: Univ. of New Mexico Press, 1976), 3. represents with a claim of reality, truth, explain, builds a story out of the fieldwork data collected. to clarify things, I should also think about what ethnography tries to do, what it aims. especially after the reflexive turn, when the acceptance of the partiality of the researcher brings the truth claims into dispute. in that sense, if ethnography is not claiming to give truth, capture reality any more, what it does? it does not claim to explain, but describe, represent, with the acceptance that representation is not an unproblematic issue, that it cannot capture the complexity, multidimensionality of the field. to contextualise myself do i (really) need to start from my story, the bits that would exoticize my position? like the ethnical background of my family? in this research context, i find it unnecessary if not self-sabotaging. what is relevant is how i am dealing with the encounter of a totally new, alien set of everyday language, habits, that requires me go through a reorientation. and yes, every case, for every individual it will be different, according to their background, upbringing, and their personal accents, defects etc. but the limits of the context needs to be drawn carefully. it needs to be anecdotal, im not saying big sentences in my practice, and i cannot do that in the writing.

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