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Anthropology and Modernity1/Comments/Reply
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2001 (English)In: Current Anthropology, Vol. 42, no 5Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

  Against those who have taken anthropologists to task for flirting with the "meta-narratives" of modernity, this article argues that it is incumbent on them to engage with both modernity and modernist narratives far more directly and explicitly than in the past. This holds even, or especially, for those who, in positing a notion of multiple modernities, have managed to hold modernist narrative at arm’s length, neglecting the potential fruitfulness of juxtaposing Western and non-Western experiences of what Habermas has called the project of modernity. The encounter between anthropology and modernity is generated on the one hand by changes in the lives of the subjects of ethnographic research, but the fact of these changes raises more searching questions about whether ethnographers ever studied genuinely premodern peoples and cultures. The reflexive imperative, moreover, confirms the need to recognize anthropology’s own modernist origins. Finally it is argued that it is critical modernist theory in the Hegel-Marx-Weber tradition that is the most pertinent to the ethnographic encounter and that the exercise of bringing together critical theory and ethnographic knowledge, while conflictual, produces fruitful results for both sides. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2001. Vol. 42, no 5
National Category
Social Sciences
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URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-372276OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-372276DiVA, id: diva2:1275628
Available from: 2019-01-07 Created: 2019-01-07 Last updated: 2019-01-07

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