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  • Cited by 6
  • Cited by
    This chapter has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Degnen, Cathrine 2018. Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Personhood and the Life Course. p. 1.

    BRISON, KAREN J. 2017. The power of submission: Self and community in Fijian Pentecostal discourse. American Ethnologist, Vol. 44, Issue. 4, p. 657.

    Schram, Ryan 2015. A society divided. HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory, Vol. 5, Issue. 1, p. 317.

    Bialecki, Jon and Daswani, Girish 2015. What is an individual?. HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory, Vol. 5, Issue. 1, p. 271.

    Coleman, Simon 2015. On Mauss, masks, and gifts. HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory, Vol. 5, Issue. 1, p. 295.

    Espírito Santo, Diana Kerestetzi, Katerina and Panagiotopoulos, Anastasios 2013. Human substances and ontological transformations in the African-inspired ritual complex of Palo Monte in Cuba. Critical African Studies, Vol. 5, Issue. 3, p. 195.

  • Print publication year: 1998
  • Online publication date: June 2012

12 - Afterword: embodying ethnography


Entering upon this discussion is like sitting down to a sumptuous meal: one is faced with such abundance that it is difficult to know where to start. I propose, therefore, to nibble, proceeding somewhat eclectically from thought to thought as the palate leads. What follows is offered in the spirit of exchange: by consuming these essays and engaging them my aim is to fortify existing relationships and to elicit rather than define. Headings do not signal discrete jumps in fare, but convocations in the flow.

On comparing

Readers will surely have noticed that the ethnography presented here pays meticulous heed to detail, its authors refusing to disdain the prosaic but plumbing it for keys to understanding instead. The subtlety with which cultural logics are parsed and bodily practices explored distinguishes this work from the sweeping statements and grand generalizations of earlier comparative projects. Absent too are the static “structures” on which past correlations between Africa and Melanesia were made to hinge. Where such ventures reduced ethnographic descriptions to artifactual common coin, minted from investigations in one place and circulated to humanity as a whole, contributors here ground themselves in positioned practices, persons, relationships, and ideas. They deploy images of movement and fluidity, accenting process, indeterminacy, fluxes and flows, sociality and relatedness instead of formal rules, and above all, practice – the active engagement of persons in their worlds – over categorical essence. Through such radical specificity more refined and nuanced comparison now proceeds.

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Bodies and Persons
  • Online ISBN: 9780511802782
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