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A post-modern ethnography is a cooperatively evolved text consisting of fragments of discourse intended to evoke in the minds of both reader and writer.

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Presentation on theme: "A post-modern ethnography is a cooperatively evolved text consisting of fragments of discourse intended to evoke in the minds of both reader and writer."— Presentation transcript:


2 A post-modern ethnography is a cooperatively evolved text consisting of fragments of discourse intended to evoke in the minds of both reader and writer an emergent fantasy of a possible world of commonsense reality....(Tyler, 1986, 125).

3 The modern movement emerged in the late 19th century and it encouraged the idea of re-examination of every aspect of existence, from commerce to philosophy, with the goal of finding that which was "holding back" progress, and replacing it with new, and therefore better, ways of reaching the same end.

4 The condition of modernity was dominated by: the idea that the history of thought is a progressive enlightenment towards a foundation or universality the notion of a legitimizing “truth” (within science, the arts, morality or any other realm of thought or practice) totalizing notion, representing wholeness, truthness

5 POMO turn (1970s) Ihab Hassan and Charles Jencks (artistic movement in the U.S. “postmodernism is a way of thinking,“weak thought, provisional and ongoing, without foundation in universal or trans-historical truth” (Vatimo 1988: 3). The ‘post-’ in the term ‘post-modern’ indicates in fact a taking leave of modernity. In its search to free itself from the logic of development inherent in modernity... (The End of Modernity 1988)

6 The Strada Novissima: a new ‘architecture of communication’ ‘an architecture of the image’, characterised by ironic plays with conventions and styles from the past. Observing the loss of faith in the modernist tenets of ‘useful = beautiful, ‘structural truth = aesthetic prestige’, ‘forms follow function’ … ‘ornament is crime,’ and so on…(Kaye, 1994).

7 Two important notions Loss of faith in the ‘narratives of modernity” Attack on modernity’s legitimizing movement (especially the practicality of modern buildings)

8 Portoghesi:the excibition was a critique of: the modern city, the suburbs without qualities, the urban environment devoid of collective values that has become an asphalt jungle and a dormitory; the loss of local character, of connection with place: the terrible homogulation that has made the outskirts of the cities of the whole world similar to one another, and whose inhabitants have a hard time recognising an identity of their own (Kaye:1994).

9 Related techniques and rhetorical figures important to the style. paradox, oxymoron, ambiguity, disharmonious harmony, amplification, complexity and contradiction, irony, eclectic quotation, anamnesis, anastrophe, chiasmus, ellipsis, elision, etc.

10 J.F Lyotard “The Postmodern Condition” (1977) Attacked the totalizing notion in modernism Representing wholeness, truthness

11 In Anthropology “Writing Culture” Clifford and Marcus (1986) “Anthropology as a Cultural Critique” Marcus and Fisher (1986). Stephen Tyler “Post-modern Ethnography: From Document of the Occult to Occult Document (1986)

12 Stephen Tyler Evocation rather than representation The split between orality and literacy One perspective (literacy) Versus polyvocal present of multi realities (orality). Object (anthropologist) with subject (the other)

13 Timothy Mitchell “Orientalism and the Visionary Order”1989 The vision of the Other “The visual Western episteme,”

14 Postmodernist ethnographic techniques and rhetorical styles: Paradox ambiguity eclectic quotation anamnesis chiasmus Ellipsis

15 The postmodernist turn highlighted four important points emphasis on epistemological concerns (ways that unable us to know) as opposed to ontological concerns (ways that unable us to find and name things) emphasis on process rather than end-results consideration of performance, experience and process as contingent emphasis on process as open-ended emphasis on experimentation with form (therefore with content)

16 **** Phenomenology: Edmund Husserl, 1907 and Martin Heidegger 1971 Phenomenological Anthropology: Bidney 1973, Merleau-Ponty 1973, Jackson: “Minima Ethnographica” 1995, Desjarlais: “Body and Emotion”1991

17 Merleau-Ponty: “Phenomenology and the Social Sciences” (1973) Crisis of philosophy: Excesses of science Logism (extreme psychology) Lebenswelt (Life-world) Intersubjectivity (between whole and part)

18 Edmond Husserl’s Phenomenology “The crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental phenomenology” (1907) Lebenswelt: Life world Life-world is the world of human existence, a world experienced by man who lives in a social ecological environment.

19 Each cultural life-world is a subjective world; it is the historic world created by human effort and thought which has meaning and value for the members of that society at a given time and place. A culture is an intersubjective system of meaningful experiences, institutions, activities, symbolic expressions of ritual and art… (David Bidney, 1973: 133).

20 Life-world Point of reference Basis for cultural abstractions of the anthropologists Connected to the anthropological method of cultural relativism

21 Ethnocentric Epoche Suppressing or suspending our own cultural beliefs so that our analysis of a culture does not interfere too much with the life-world of the people in the culture studied A dialogue between subjects and in between subjects (intersubjectivity)

22 Contemporary Phenomenological Anthropology Michael Jackson (1990’s on)--According equal weight to all modalities of human experience---Democratization of the playing fields of knowledge Robert Desjarlais (1990’s on)--Yolmo Sherpa, Tibet--A need to draw on sensibilities---Sensations, feelings, emotions

23 Phenomenological and Postmodern Strategies: Phenomenology:Ethnocentric epoche- -Intersubjectivity--Subjectivity-- Experience--eclectictivity--Evocation Postmodern: Evocation- Multivocality--Eclectic forms--Rhetorical intentions

24 What are the contradictions and complementarities of a phenomenological method and a postmodernist one? Explain.

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