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Ethics, Politics, and Fieldwork in Anthropology
Edited by Heidi Armbruster and Anna Lærke
272 pages, bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-84545-421-0 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (September 2008)
ISBN 978-1-84545-701-3 $29.95/£23.95 Pb Published (January 2010)
eISBN 978-0-85745-408-9 eBook
“I enjoyed reading this collection…[because] there is a sense of purpose to the work contained in Taking Sides, and that purpose gives the analysis and discussion provided by the various essays a distinctive clarity and personal character.” · International Socialism
"A grippingly honest account of the dilemmas of being an engages anthropologist in a world where taking sides has become increasingly complex. These courageous authors strip back the mask of objectivity in fieldwork and confront head-on the limits of empathy and the sometimes disturbing ethical conditions under which they obtained their knowledge. An original and powerful call for partiality despite the pitfalls. A must-read for all aspiring anthropologists." · Jenny B. White, Boston University
"An ambitious and satisfying collection that conjoins anthropologists' political and ethical commitments to the worlds they study, inhabit and engage. Taking Sides shows the limits of some strands of postmodern reflexivity, moves political contexts to the fore, and illustrates how anthropology can move beyond critical analysis to praxis." · David Price, Associate Professor of anthropology and sociology at St. Martin's University, in Lacey, Washington
“An outstanding collection of essays that both instruct and provoke. They exemplify the virtues of politically engaged anthropology and invite the reader to reflect critically on what it means to be a scholar in today's conflict-torn world. Illuminating for the specialist and the non-specialist alike.” · Alex Callinicos, Professor of European Studies French Department King's College London Strand
Concerns with research ethics have intensified over recent years, in large part as a symptom of "audit cultures" (M. Strathern) but also as a serious matter of engagement with the ethical complexities in contemporary research fields. This volume, written by a new generation of scholars engaged with contemporary global movements for social justice and peace, reflects their efforts in trying to integrate their scholarly pursuits with their understanding of social science, politics and ethics, and what political commitment means in practice and in fieldwork. This is a book of argument and analysis, written with passion, clarity and intellectual sophistication, which touches on issues of vital significance to social scientists and activists in general.
Heidi Armbruster holds a Ph.D. in social anthropology from SOAS in London. She is a lecturer in German and Transnational Studies at the University of Southampton.
Anna Lærke holds a Ph.D. in social anthropology from SOAS, University of London. She is a Research Fellow at The Open University and independent evaluator of Children's Fund services in Milton Keynes.
Subject: Theory and Methodology Sociology
Introduction: The Ethics of Taking Sides
Chapter 1. Starting from Below: Fieldwork, Gender and Imperialism Now
Chapter 2. Arriving in Nowhere Land. Studying an Islamic Sufi Order in London
Chapter 3. Friendships and Encounters within Left-Liberal Politics in Bangladesh
Chapter 4. Doing Fieldwork within Fear and Silences
Chapter 5. Memory, Ethics, Politics. Researching a Beleaguered Community
Chapter 6. Confessions of a Downbeat Anthropologist
Chapter 7. We Will not Integrate! Multiple Belongings, Political Activism and Anthropology in Austria
Chapter 8. Taking Sides in the Oilfields. For a Politically Engaged Anthropology
Chapter 9. Ranting and Silence. The Contradictions of Writing for Activists and Academics
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