Anthropology and Autobiography

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Judith Okely, Helen Callaway
Routledge, 1992 - Social Science - 252 pages
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Anthropological writings by anthropologists in the field have long been a valuable tool to the profession. But until now, the theoretical implications of its use have not been fully explored. Anthropology and Autobiography provides unique insights into the fieldwork, autobiographical materials and/or textual critiques of anthropologists, many of whose ethnographies are already familiar. It considers the role of the anthropologist as fieldworker and writer, examining the ways in which nationality, age, gender, and personal history influence the anthropologist's behavior towards the individuals he is observing. This volume also contributes to debates about reflexivity and the political responsibility of the anthropologist, who, as a participant, has traditionally made only stylized appearances in the academic text. The contributors examine their work among peoples in Africa, Japan, the Caribbean, Greece, Shetland, England, indigenous Australia, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka. Autobiography is developed alongside political, intellectual, and historical changes. The anthropologists confront and examine issues of racism, reciprocity and friendships. Anthropology and Autobiography will appeal to anthropologists and social scientists interested in ethnographic approaches, the self, reflexivity, qualitative methodology, and the production of texts.

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About the author (1992)

Judith Okely (MA, D.Phil Oxford) is Emeritus Professor of Social Anthropology, Hull University and Honorary Research Associate, School of Anthropology, Oxford University. Her books include "The Traveller Gypsies", "Simone de Beauvoir: a Re-Reading", "Own or Other Culture", co-edited volumes and many articles. She has done fieldwork in Western Ireland, England and France (Ethnos 2001). In 2011 she was awarded the seal of Pilsen City, and an honorary medal of West Bohemia University, Czech Republic. She was selected as a Pioneer of Qualitative Social Research, ESDA UK.