Download PDF by John & Jean Comaroff: Ethnography and the Historical Imagination

By John & Jean Comaroff

ISBN-10: 081331304X

ISBN-13: 9780813313047

ISBN-10: 0813313058

ISBN-13: 9780813313054

Through the years John and Jean Comaroff have broadened the research of tradition and society with their reflections on energy and that means. of their paintings on Africa and colonialism they've got explored a few of the basic questions of social technological know-how, delving into the character of background and human enterprise, tradition and cognizance, ritual and illustration. How are human modifications built and institutionalized, remodeled and (sometimes) effaced, empowered and (sometimes) resisted? How do neighborhood cultures articulate with worldwide types? How is the facility of a few humans over others equipped, sustained, eroded, and negated? How does the social mind's eye take form in novel but jointly significant ways?Addressing those questions, the essays during this volume—several by no means sooner than published—work towards an “imaginative sociology,” demonstrating the thoughts through which social technological know-how might seize the contexts that people build and inhabit. within the advent, the authors provide their so much whole assertion up to now at the nature of ancient anthropology. status except the normal disciplines of social heritage and modernist social technological know-how, their paintings is devoted to learning how human worlds are made and signified, forgotten and remade.

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This means that all existing terrains are suspect, so that once again the situation demands that one constructs a theoretical jetty from which to imagine a new beginning. It follows too that there are no models which one can use as a measure, although, clearly, the point of view of historicity indicates that we cannot avoid drawing lessons from previous discourses and practices and their effects, nor escape the limits that historicity imposes upon our thinking. A number of interrogations exist, however, which I will indicate below, that will provide me with the elements for displacing the issue towards a post-occidentalist reformulation, and for ®nding a different measure for judging what is to be done.

The performance criterion confers upon itself the normative status of law, reinforcing the autonomous working of power: Power is not only good performativity, but also effective veri®cation and good verdicts. It legitimates science and the law on the basis of their ef®ciency, and legitimates this ef®ciency on the basis of science and law. It is self-legitimating. . Thus the growth of power, and its self-legitimation, are now taking the route of data storage and accessibility, and the operativity of information.

I indicated in my introduction that the problems underlying the question of futurity, once we have abandoned the privilege of epistemology, spill onto the terrain of an ethics. The cognitive is not the ethical and the ethical is not the political; however, there are relays between them. The problem for the discourse of modernity has been to avoid reducing the one to the other, or to imagine a universal element, like reason, that would enable their reconciliation. The functioning of aesthetics in this process is a central issue that I will explore in Chapter 4.

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Ethnography and the Historical Imagination by John & Jean Comaroff


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