Today ethnography is extremely fragmented. What once was its core – the “field” – has now progressively ex- ploded. Very few anthropologists today would start their researches with in mind notions of field and fieldwork rigidly localized. If anthropologists have historically opted for conducting work on “traditional” and “au- thentic” usages and customs and “pure” and uncon- taminated social and cultural systems, now awareness is raising about what is beyond the field, i.e. the “wider world” surrounding it. Once strictly situated, localized, intensive, deep and, indeed, artisan project, fieldwork progressively entails a capacity to look outwardly. What distinguishes cultural anthropology is no more a prac- tical mode of research, a sort of technique, but, much more concretely, the manner in which it formulates re- search questions and conceptually defines its objects. Thus, ethnographers need to be able to look outwardly in terms of space (how do our fields take us elsewhere?), and in terms of time (fieldwork is nothing but a short step in a much longer timing, a past, a present, a future).

Ethnography : experiences, representations, practices for studying cultural diversity / V. Matera. - In: ARCHIVIO ANTROPOLOGICO MEDITERRANEO. - ISSN 2038-3215. - 15:2(2013), pp. 9-19. [10.7432/AAM150202]

Ethnography : experiences, representations, practices for studying cultural diversity

V. Matera
2013

Abstract

Today ethnography is extremely fragmented. What once was its core – the “field” – has now progressively ex- ploded. Very few anthropologists today would start their researches with in mind notions of field and fieldwork rigidly localized. If anthropologists have historically opted for conducting work on “traditional” and “au- thentic” usages and customs and “pure” and uncon- taminated social and cultural systems, now awareness is raising about what is beyond the field, i.e. the “wider world” surrounding it. Once strictly situated, localized, intensive, deep and, indeed, artisan project, fieldwork progressively entails a capacity to look outwardly. What distinguishes cultural anthropology is no more a prac- tical mode of research, a sort of technique, but, much more concretely, the manner in which it formulates re- search questions and conceptually defines its objects. Thus, ethnographers need to be able to look outwardly in terms of space (how do our fields take us elsewhere?), and in terms of time (fieldwork is nothing but a short step in a much longer timing, a past, a present, a future).
Field; Global/local; Ethnography/Anthro- pology; Anthropological knowledge; Anthropological identity
Settore M-DEA/01 - Discipline Demoetnoantropologiche
Article (author)
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/882932
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