From Text to Context: How Anthropology Makes Its Subject

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Excerpt From Essay

"Much has been said about "writing culture." I argue that, underlying anthropological subjectivity lies not just the ethnographer as author but, more impor- tantly, the institutional embeddedness of scientificity and the rootedness of academia in a public sphere. I have chosen to review critically the development of the anthropology of Taiwan to show in what senses it shares problematic features with social scientific "subjectivity" everywhere. At the same time I will describe certain excesses in the bureaucratization and politicization of knowledge. Moreover, indigenous anthropologists have ironically long been studying their own societies—but not in the way it has been trumpeted naively by advocates of "the new ethnography." Far from being pristine, the content and form of this knowledge reiterate even more academia's embeddedness in the politics of the public sphere."

"From Text to Context: How Anthropology Makes Its Subject," Allen Chun (570).

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