Scientific Dialogue and Critical Hermeneutics

Essay Excerpt

But, at least for me, in the end what gives Newman's, Csordas's, Varenne's, or Keil's analyses power is the implicit macrocontext supplied explicitly only by work such as that of Barlett: some sort of long-term sense of why middle-class folks again in the 1980s feel the need for the therapeutic of ritual, why the ambivalence between dissent and conformity should be now so politically explosive; why the anger of malconstructed marriages should focus on the psychological, pointing up the restricted means for contemporary personhood. It is systemic and historical frameworks (narratively constructed, of course) that provide the contrasts with Palestinians (e.g., Edward Said's After the Last Sky), Indian guest workers in the Perso-Arabian Gulf (e.g., Amitav Ghosh's The Circle of Reason), and the like that makes America meaningful in its economic diversity/opportunity/opportunism, its political protection of civil/personal/property rights, its and its cultural interreferences of global dominance/domination/vulnerability, class, gender, regional, ethnic, historical, slave, immigrant, migrant, etc., artic- ulations and differentiations. (Fischer, 15)

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