Anthropology through the Looking-Glass: Critical Ethnography by Michael Herzfeld

By Michael Herzfeld

Utilizing Greek ethnography as a replicate for an ethnography of anthropology itself, this booklet unearths the ways that the self-discipline of anthropology is ensnared within the comparable political and social symbolism as its item of research. the writer pushes the comparative ambitions of anthropology past the conventional separation of tribal item from indifferent medical observer, and provides the self-discipline a serious resource of reflexive perception in accordance with empirical ethnography instead of on ideological hypothesis on my own.

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Policy toward Greece, could only win elections as long as the Americans supported him; yet this did not prevent many of them from casting their votes for Papandreou as a way of resisting American influence. One does what one can, and only blames a superior agency after the event. In the twilight and aftermath of the Byzantine Empire, the western European states seemed to offer some hope of freedom from the Turkish yoke, but often failed to deliver. Indeed, disappointment became a formulaic experience,8 and Greeks could only rail against the treachery of the "blond races" of the West.

In a resounding rejection, Politis tried to show that the folk traditions of Greece had kept alive the determination to take back that lost pinnacle of their cultural and political universe. For the Greeks, academic and peasant alike, it was the struggle that offered redemption: refracted since the Turkish invasion through a shattered social universe, struggle reappears everywhere - as the relentless need to stand up to one's fellows (Peristiany 1965:14), as resistance to ever encroaching nature (Friedl 1962:75), as a search for allies amongst an often unsympathetic officialdom (Campbell 1964:238-47; Loizos 1975:121), and in general as a commitment to combat everything that would otherwise make life miserable.

It is extremely doubtful whether such a philosophy characterizes an entire population anywhere in the world. , Kabbani 1985:30), and its occasional application to Greece - as well as the Greeks' negative reaction to it - is a fair indication of its association with the idea of a torpid, immoral, and dull oriental mind. Indeed, Vico thought that fatalism, like atheism and belief in simple chance, could never be the basis of civil life (2,5,2 [1977:429] [B/F 602]; cf. " Otherness, as we shall see again and again, appears as a lack or a deficiency of some supposedly immanent quality such as individualism or belief.

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