Monday, September 1, 2008

Culture and Truth: the remaking of social analysis by renato rosaldo 89

Culture and Truth: the remaking of social analysis by renato rosaldo 89

x-cultural anthrogy has recently been changing partly b/c of recent outcry in over issues of multicultural society

2-emotions vary depending on ur position in a culture eg if ur kid died or someone else’s

-by using geertz’s idea of “force”, he ?s the common anthro idea that there is “cultural depth” (2 b described w/ “thick description”)

7-uses method of “positioned (and repositioned) subject”—where ethno asks ?s, then learn some, then ask new ?s over and over unitl “diminishing returns indicate a stopping pt”. Geertz used it, cf method and measurement 64 (artc by Schultz)
-“interpretive method usu rests on the axiom that gifted ethnos learn their trade by preparing as broadly as possible…(8) field workers req wide-ranging theoretical capacities and finely tuned sensibilities…Eclectic book knowledge and a range of life expercs, along w/ edifying reading and self-awareness, supposedly vanquish the twin vices of ignorance and insensitivity…[but] one should work to undermine the false comfort that [this idea] can convey. At what pt. can ppl say that they have comleted their learning or their life experc? can lend a false air of security, an authoritative claim to certitude and finality that our analyses cannot have. All interps r provisional, they r made by positioned subjects who r prepared to know certain things and not others…good ethnos still have their limits…Thus, I began to fathom the force of what Ilongots had been telling me about their losses thru my own loss, and not thru any systematic prep for field research”
9-“relative youth of field-workers” is also inhibits abilities

10-observer’s and subject’s emotions “overlap, rather like two circles, partially overlaid and partially separate…I am illustrating the discipline’s methodological caution against the reckless attribution of one’s own categories and expercs to members of another culture. Such warnings against facile notions of universal human nature can, however, b carried too far and harden into the equally pernicious doctrine that, my own group aside, everything human is alien to me. One hopes to achieve a balance btwn [the two]”

12-says most ethnos prefer to study “events that have definite location”, repetitive ritueals—and not “less scripted” stuff
-they “eliminate intense emotions” and it distorts their descriptions “but also remove potentially key variables from their explanations”
-says most ethnos focus on ritual for death instead of bereavement outside of ritual
15-most interp rituals as “if it were a microcosm of its encompassing cultural macrocosm”; rituals display these or “platitudes”—“catalysts that precifpitate processes whose unfolding occurs over subsequent months or even years”

17-says rituals r “a busy intersection” of “self-contained sphere of deep cultural activity”
19-previous explainations of head hunting didn’t get the complexity of factors
-and “natives also r positioned subjects who have a distinctive mix of insight and blindness”
20-“Depth should b separated from the presence or absence of elaboration” but “one-line explanations can b cacuous or pithy”
-force can show “enduring intensity in human conduct” that doesn’t necessarily need “cultural depth”
-and rituals “do not always encapsulate deep cultural wisdom”’ sometimes they r just for giving platitudes to motivate ppl

21-“such terms as objectivity,neutrality, and imperiality refer to subject positions once endowed w/ great instittnl authority, but they r arguable neither more nor less valid than those of more engaged, yet equally perceptive, knowledgable social actors. Social analysis must now grapple w/ the realizatn that its objects of analysis r also analyzing subjects who critically interrogate ethnos—their writings, their ethics and their pols”
25-“anthogy invites us to expand our sense of juman possibilities thru the study of other forms of life”
26-“culture lends significance to human experc by selecting from and organizing it”—it refers broadly to these forms, and is not limited (unlike pols, ecocs)—“all human conduct is culturally mediated”

29-“Boderlands surface not only at the boundaries of officially recognized cultural units, but also at less formed intersections, such as those of gender, age status, and distinctive life expercs”
30-up until 60s ethnos looks at primitive cultures as unchanging and needing civilization
33-says they were based on Durk views, but those don’t account for everything
34-tradl ethnography has “monumentalism”—applying new theories to classic ethnographies; complicity w/ imperialism; believed in objectivism

-but this all began to unravel w/ poll turbulence of 60s and 70s
35-use of anthrogy in chile and Thailand was criticized for being used in counter insurgency; natives charged anthros w/ writing that kept stereotypes and faile3d to help them resist oppression
-all action by minority groups and other social thinkers

28-now ethngphy is very significant, being used by ppl in many fields on social thot
39-“cultural studies sees human worlds as constructed thru historical and poll processes, and not as brute timeless facts of nature”
40-critiques have then gone against classic “ethnogrphies’ equilibrium”; ethnogphies r only useful to rulrs “to legitimate the subjugation of hunman probs” (42)
44-and G has also helped end idea of pure cultures
49-minority groups have called ethnogphies antoher “unreal”’ mistranslation, not understanding jokes, double meanings, etc. (50)
50-says we should take native criticism seriously
51-cf Horace miner “body ritual”; most ethnos take descriptions at face value (53) citing Radcliffe-brown, as objective

59-levi-strauss thot man’s actions r more in accord w/ social norms, emotions r practically violations
60-suggests using personal narratives to counter it
61-use both together, and “classic norms should become 1 mode of representation among others”
64-and u can use natives’ ideas about u to critique own
70-imperiealist nostalgia—someone alters a form of life, then regrets it and then idealizes it; often w/ a sense of mission; attempt to est. on’es innocence

75-“attributions of character…[r] and esplly fertile site for the cultivation of ideology”

86-even ethnos do it thinking they r looking at a dying culture, tho the same stuff “killing” their culture brot the ethnos there
92-“processual analysis” is an athrogy view that says views, ideas, and istittns interact and change thru time—and ur showing that effects r caused by a number of factors (93)
93-used by geertz and v. turner, “thick descriptions”—tho they still ahd some residual classic ideas
95-criticizes geertz’s berber story for having thick description but thin conclusion—didn’t account for outher interpretations
98-criticizes geertz’s vew that culture is necessary [bad critique b/c it overgenralizes, putting too much emphasis on culture’s control—see my note for 196]
99-says geertz, turner and durk r all hobbesian sayin ppl need social order

104-that society shapes our thots, exists outside of us is noted by Kenneth burke’s parlor 57—structure/agency debate
206-it’s both says: e. p. Thompson, ray Williams, bourdieu—all critique objectivist analysis

112-it’s important to note a social things “indeterminantness of responses”, its flexibility

128-most classical antrgy “marginalized” narratives, putting them in “prefaces, footnotes, and case hsitoreis” b/c they were “biased” and not following “obejective” method

129-notes that a desire to do something that would make a culturally valuable story can shape action, cite psy Jerome bruner and an ecoc historian—so can’t ignore narratives

130-against: its not scientific; for (131) : it shows multi relationships better and context helps reader idfy better (133), they might pt out things other narratives left out (142)
135-and the critique that ppl don’t know all the factors for events
147- wrs must take natives’ analysies “nearly” as serious as their own, it should (148) broaden insights
148-tho even w/in a minority group, all assessments don’t’ agree

151-says ppl should “continually re-read past narratives in order to recover courageous early wrks [eg americo paredes] w/out reifying them as sacred relics more fit for veneration than dia and debate”

169-weber is tradlly cited as founder of objectivity in human science
171-but says that it really endows? “routinized lives w/ mythic meaning”—but the instittn of university and act of analyzing is acting out the prtstnt ethic, in fact, so they r not objective
194-“Rather than look downward from abstract principles, social critics work outward from in-depth knowledge of a specific form of life. Informed by such conceptions as social justice, human dignity, and =ty, they use their moral imagination to move form the world as it actually is to a locally persuasive vision of how it ought to b. b/c diff communities differ in their probs and possibilities, such visions must b more local than universal”
-and indvs belong to “multiple, overlapping communities”, not “discrete” communities

196-says all human activity is culturally mediated, “it makes no sense to speak of ‘broke’ reality indp of culture”

197-says tho official anthgy view is cultures r +, but informal talk is diff

204-elites feel “postcultural”

207-“more often than we usu care to think, our everyday lives r crisscrossed by [cultural] border zones, pockets, and eruptions of all kinds”
208-and these should b seen as “sites of creative cultural production, that req investigtn”—use classic norms and marginals: heterogeneity, rapid change, borrowing and lending

216-borderlands Gloria Anzaldua—she says chicanos have “long practiced the art of cultural blending” so they can b leaders of new forms of cultural creativity—embracing contradictions

217-presently “notion of an authentic culture as an autonomous internally coherent universe no longer seems tenable, except perhaps as a ‘useful fiction’ or a revealing distortion”, b/c of G, so seed interdisciplinary effort
-borrowing/lending is “saturated w/ in=ty, pwer, and domination”


sharkette89 said...
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sharkette89 said...
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