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Issue 3.4, November 1988


"Every conception of modernity is a sociocultural fact, an imbedded installation in the invention of the very thing to which it refers; every conception is, to some degree, likely compromised by its imbeddedness." - Paul Rabinow, Nov. 1988

All of the work in this issue is the product of sustained historical, ethnographic, and sociological fieldwork. It instantiates, in one vein, much of what has been called for programmatically under the title of the "new ethnography." However, to continue the article's vocabulary, perhaps it would be better to see it as a set of examples of a "new anthropological" inquiry. The following articles are written by present or former graduate students at the University of California at Berkeley. However, as a kind of truth in advertising disclaimer, these articles should not be taken as representative of the variety of research under way in the Berkeley anthropology department. Nonetheless, there has been a sustained set of discussions and seminars in conjunction and counterpoint with stays at Berkeley of Michel Foucault, Michel de Certeau, Jiirgen Habermas, and others. While there is certainly a confluence of interests demonstrated in the articles, the only school in formation would be a peripatetic one of inquiring "anarcho-rationalists," doing their [learning] in the [school of the world].