The University of Wisconsin Press

Anthropology / Social Sciences

Transforming Ethnographic Knowledge
Edited by Rebecca Hardin and Kamari Maxine Clarke

An engaging, reflective, and deeply personal book that prompts a rethinking of both the limits and possibilities of ethnography

The ethnographic methods that anthropologists first developed to study other cultures—fieldwork, participant observation, dialogue—are now being adapted for a broad array of applications, such as business, conflict resolution and demobilization, wildlife conservation, education, and biomedicine. In Transforming Ethnographic Knowledge, anthropologists trace the changes they have seen in ethnography as a method and as an intellectual approach, and they offer examples of ethnography’s role in social change and its capacity to transform its practitioners.

Senior scholars Mary Catherine Bateson, Sidney Mintz, and J. Lorand Matory look back at how thinking ethnographically shaped both their work and their lives, and George Marcus suggests that the methods for teaching and training anthropologists need rethinking and updating. The second part of the volume features anthropologists working in sectors where ethnography is finding or claiming new relevance: Kamari Maxine Clarke looks at ethnographers’ involvement (or non-involvement) in military conflict, Csilla Kalocsai employs ethnographic tools to understand the dynamics of corporate management, Rebecca Hardin and Melissa Remis take their own anthropological training into rainforests where wildlife conservation and research meet changing subsistence practices and gendered politics of social difference, and Marcia Inhorn shows how the interests in mobility and diasporic connection that characterize a new generation of ethnographic work also apply to medical technologies, as those mediate fertility and relate to social status in the Middle East.

Portraits of editors Rebecca Hardin and Kamari Maxine ClarkeRebecca Hardin is associate professor in the School of Natural Resources and Environment and in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She is coeditor of Corporate Lives: New Perspectives on the Social Life of the Corporate Form, a special edition of the journal Current Anthropology.

Kamari Maxine Clarke is professor of anthropology at Yale University and author of Fictions of Justice: The International Criminal Court and the Challenge of Legal Pluralism in Sub-Saharan Africa

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Image of a burning city in vibrant colorsFlammable Cities
Urban Conflagration and the Making of the Modern World
Edited by Greg Bankoff, Uwe Lübken, and Jordan Sand .... Afterword by Stephen J. Pyne

“A remarkably robust survey of cultures, cities, and histories that affirms the universality of fire’s impact within the urban setting.”—Stephen J. Pyne

August 2012
LC: 2011052830 GN
248 pp.    6 x 9    1 table

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Paper $29.95 s
ISBN 978-0-299-24874-1
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Mary Catherine Bateson, Kamari Maxine Clarke, Rebecca Hardin, Csilla Kalocsai, Macia Inhorn, George Marcus, J. Lorand Matory, Sidney Mintz, Melissa Remis.

"This multifaceted, energizing collection reminds us of the many reasons that ethnography’s sustained engagement with others is so vital--not just to anthropology but also for analysis and action in the contemporary world."
—Kirin Narayan, author of Alive in the Writing: Crafting Ethnography in the Company of Chekhov

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Updated February 22, 2012

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