17 August 2016

What makes anthropology what it is?

veterans' monument, north end of Main Stree, downtown St. Johns, MI 48879
Context of time, place, and within the spectrum of the human condition (relationship to other varieties of culture and language and environment and ideology and material culture).

Text for the master narratives known among the speakers (and/or readers) of a particular language.

Texture that gives shape, feel, rhythms and patterns to daily experience.

And while there are many other social science and humanities traditions now and those found in other places/languages and time, it is anthropology that engages most personally; personal scale of individual lives, and by means of participant-observation, rather than to pretend any sort of pure abstraction or analytical distance from the subjects. Much of the most valuable work is conducted in the field and for extended, even longitudinal periods, during which many relationships are formed that work in both directions: of use and satisfaction (or distress) to the anthropologist, but also a living part of the local people's knowledge and resource pool of social capital to make use of. In the best examples a dialog results with voice of insider and outsider both present in the final form.

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