Performing comparisons: Ethnography, globetrotting, and the spaces of social knowledge

Authors
Citation
M. Herzfeld, Performing comparisons: Ethnography, globetrotting, and the spaces of social knowledge, J ANTHR RES, 57(3), 2001, pp. 259-276
Citations number
52
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Sociology & Antropology
Journal title
JOURNAL OF ANTHROPOLOGICAL RESEARCH
ISSN journal
0091-7710 → ACNP
Volume
57
Issue
3
Year of publication
2001
Pages
259 - 276
Database
ISI
SICI code
0091-7710(200123)57:3<259:PCEGAT>2.0.ZU;2-V
Abstract
Two key aspects of social and cultural anthropology are comparison and refl exivity. For a genuinely empirical anthropology, these must be mutually eng aged. In exploring various kinds of comparison from formal intercommunal an alyses to comparisons between nation-states, between anthropology and its c ultural objects, and between anthropological and other kinds of writing-the anthropologist's personal trajectory is critically influential on choices made and paths taken. In contemplating my earliest work in Greece, my decis ion to compare forms of identity in Greece and Italy, and a recent move to the geographically broader framework offered by including Thailand, I have also had to consider the role of differently situated anthropologists (e.g. , local as opposed to,foreign), points in career trajectory and developing linguistic competences, and shifting epistemological contexts. As a result, over time, I have found the linkage between comparison and reflexivity inc reasingly central to the empirical understanding of social and cultural phe nomena.