Arizona Anthropologist: Issue # 7 (1991)
ABOUT THE COLLECTION
The Arizona Anthropologist is a competitive high-quality annual journal designed, reviewed and published by an editorial board of graduate students in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Arizona. The open access archives are made available as a collaboration between the Arizona Anthropologist and the University of Arizona Libraries.
For further information about this publication, visit http://clubs.asua.arizona.edu/~azanthro/index.htm.
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An Investigation of the Hermeneutic Properties of Writing Primatology(University of Arizona, Department of Anthropology, 1991)The works of Frans de Waal ("Chimpanzee Politics: Power and Sex Among Apes" 1982) and Jane Goodall ("In the Shadow of Man," 1971; "The Chimpanzees of Gombe: Patterns of Behavior," 1986) are examined in a postmodern perspective. Ethnographers and primatologists traditionally leave the comfort of familiar surroundings to engage in a relatively long-term observational, interactive and interpretive experience with the members of another society or the members of another species. The writing strategies of these two "chimpographers", as well as the ways in which these strategies influence the presentation of the authors' interpretations of their fieldwork experiences are examined for their hermeneutic qualities. An investigation of the hermeneutic properties of interpretation allows one to critically read an ethnography (or primatological work) and remain sensitive to its possible underlying political, historical, economic, racial and gender related motivations or determinants (Clifford 1986:6; Haraway 1989:8).
Hermeneutics and Ethnography: An Interpretation of Two Texts(University of Arizona, Department of Anthropology, 1991)The postmodern approach to the writing of ethnographic texts is characterized by authorial self-reflection and a "dialogic" approach to anthropological fieldwork, techniques derived from the philosophical method of hermeneutics. But this method is problematic when confronting issues of political economy in ethnography. This paper presents an analysis of ethnographic works by Jean Comaroff and Michael Taussig, two texts that attempt to incorporate both an interpretive and a world-systems perspective. The paper examines the value of a hermeneutic method for anthropology, suggesting that while self-reflection is useful in cultural analysis, the hermeneutic method cannot be applied wholesale to the practice of anthropology.
Exploring the Narrative Paths of a Kalinga Ethnography: Edward Dozier's "Mountain Arbiters"(University of Arizona, Department of Anthropology, 1991)The narrative paths of Edward Dozier's works "Mountain Arbiters" and "The Kalinga of Northern Luzon, Philippines" are examined and discussed. Dozier's field notes (on file at the Arizona State Museum Archives), recent interviews with both Fred Eggan and William Longacre, as well as Dozier's biographical data and professional orientations are utilized to assess his narrative work in a postmodern framework. Dozier's narrative structure is found to be constrained to neither of Bruner's (1986) categories of dominant emplotments; instead, Dozier's work is described as transitional between the 1930s narratives of acculturation and the 1970s narratives of resistance.
The Ethnography of Zora Neale Hurston: A Postmodern Writer Before Her Time(University of Arizona, Department of Anthropology, 1991)The recent trend in Anthropology has been to focus on new ways of representing ethnographic experience through the use of interpretive techniques in writing. Although these postmodern approaches are innovative, there are superlative examples of multi-vocality and the mixing of genres in early ethnographic writing. Zora Neale Hurston was one such writer. An African-American, she studied the rural blacks from the South, Haiti, Jamaica, and her home town of Eatonville, florida, and reconstructed their lives and folklore in her novels and ethnographies. We must question why such a gifted writer and ethnographer is rarely read by anthropologists, despite her re-emergence and recent fame in literary and popular circles. An examination of her work shows why her obscurity in anthropology should not continue.