By Joao de Pina-Cabral, John Campbelld
Analyzing the issues confronted by means of social anthropologists within the research of eu groups, this publication presents a severe exam of the strategy of player commentary in a interval of post-structuralist theories which query the potential of objectivity in social examine. specific awareness is paid to the matter of integrating the facts of historic files and oral histories with the knowledge of latest commentary. different difficulties mentioned contain how the anthropologist should still strategy the examine of enormous scale groups and relate them to wider nationwide societies and the way the intercourse, age, type and temperament of the anthropologist may possibly restrict, or distort, what in a point should always be a private perspective.
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Additional resources for Europe Observed
But the exception does not destroy the general point. Ladislav Holy takes predseIy the contrary approach (1984: 31). ' To me, this is not at all patently obvious. e. if able to pass for a member, the anthropologist's understanding of their culture is right' (ibid: 30). This is a false corollary of the view of the sodal world as constituted by meaning. It stands on the false assumption that the information gathered by anthropologists is of the same nature as that shared by sodal ac tors. loao de Pina-Calrral 11.
G. Rogers 1979) is thoroughly unjustifiable. From a methodologieal standpoint, no period in the past can usefully be approached as a kind of present without serious distortion of the material. Except in a metaphorieal sense, there cannot be an ethnographie approach to the past. There is another side to this question whieh seldom receives attention: the relation between the ethnographie present and the future. This relation is manifested, on the one hand, in the fact that the research has its own time sequence.
There is a contractual element in gossip in that the time and nature of the passage of information reflect the nature of the relation between the partners at the time of the exchange. As a partidpant in normal sodal relations, the anthropologist receives the sort of gossip whieh befits his or her partidpation. Even though he does apply what Firth calls 'the complex system of checks' (1959: 7) in order to validate this information, much of it is not of a type that can be subjected to validation: stories, dreams, moral evaluations of situations, Joäo de Pina-Cabral 21 values placed on actions and expectations about the behaviour of third parties.