Download The Predicament of Culture: Twentieth-Century Ethnography, by James Clifford PDF

By James Clifford

The crisis of tradition is a severe ethnography of the West in its altering family with different societies. studying cultural practices comparable to anthropology, shuttle writing, gathering, and museum monitors of tribal artwork, Clifford indicates authoritative money owed of different methods of lifestyles to be contingent fictions, now actively contested in postcolonial contexts. His critique increases questions of worldwide importance: Who has the authority to talk for any group's identification and authenticity? What are the basic parts and limits of a tradition? How do self and "the other" conflict within the encounters of ethnography, trip, and sleek interethnic kinfolk? In discussions of ethnography, surrealism, museums, and emergent tribal arts, Clifford probes the late-twentieth century crisis of residing at the same time inside, among, and after tradition.

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Extra resources for The Predicament of Culture: Twentieth-Century Ethnography, Literature, and Art

Sample text

For d i scou rse to become text it m ust become "autonomous," in Ricoeu r's terms, separated from a spec ific ut­ terance and author i a l i n tenti o n . I nterpretation i s not i nterlocuti o n . I t does not depend o n be i n g in the presence of a speaker. The rel evance of t h i s d i sti nction for eth nography is perhaps too ob­ v i o u s . The eth nographer a l ways u lti mate l y departs, tak i n g away texts for l ater i n terpretation (and among those "texts" taken away we can i nc l ude memories-events patterned , s i m p l i fied, stri pped of i m med i ate context in order to be i n terpreted in l ater reconstruction and portraya l ) .

For example, we say that a certa i n i nstitution or segment of behavior is typ­ ical of, o r a com m u n i cative element with i n , a surrou ndi ng cu lture, as when Geertz's famous cockfight ( 1 973 : chap. 1 5 ) becomes an i ntense l y sign i ficant locus o f Ba l i nese cu ltu re . F i e l d s o f synecdoches are c reated in whi ch parts are rel ated to wholes, and by which the whole-what we often cal l c u lture- i s constituted . Ricoe u r does not actu a l l y privi l ege part-whole rel ations and the spe­ c i fic sorts of a nal ogies that constitute fu nctional i st or rea l ist representa­ tions.

For example, we say that a certa i n i nstitution or segment of behavior is typ­ ical of, o r a com m u n i cative element with i n , a surrou ndi ng cu lture, as when Geertz's famous cockfight ( 1 973 : chap. 1 5 ) becomes an i ntense l y sign i ficant locus o f Ba l i nese cu ltu re . F i e l d s o f synecdoches are c reated in whi ch parts are rel ated to wholes, and by which the whole-what we often cal l c u lture- i s constituted . Ricoe u r does not actu a l l y privi l ege part-whole rel ations and the spe­ c i fic sorts of a nal ogies that constitute fu nctional i st or rea l ist representa­ tions.

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