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Ethnography and the politics of absence

Ethnography and the politics of absence QUALITATIVE STUDIES IN EDUCATION, 1992, VOL. 5, NO. 1, 19-27 RONALD G. SULTANA University of Malta By speech, silence becomes the centre and principle of expression, its vanishing point. Speech eventually has nothing more to tell us: we investigate the silence, for it is the silence that is doing the speaking. Macherey(1978,p.86) Introduction This article is about the silences that often are registered but not so often highlighted and analysed with the anthropological tools of the ethnographer, referring as these do to the empirical world that can be captured. While there is abundant literature that helps the ethnographer refine the technical aspects of the writing of the narrative, it has been only recently that die political implications behind the epistemology and ontology of ethnography as a research strategy have been addressed in any depth. Rather than, therefore, looking at ways of improving the collection of data, this paper will consider an aspect that hidierto has been largely ignored in ethnography. The focus will be on what die edinographic text leaves unsaid. A number of silences will be identified with reference to the process, content, and political effectiveness of ethnographic narratives, although it will be argued that these silences or http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Qualititative Studies in Education Taylor & Francis

Ethnography and the politics of absence

Ethnography and the politics of absence


Abstract

QUALITATIVE STUDIES IN EDUCATION, 1992, VOL. 5, NO. 1, 19-27 RONALD G. SULTANA University of Malta By speech, silence becomes the centre and principle of expression, its vanishing point. Speech eventually has nothing more to tell us: we investigate the silence, for it is the silence that is doing the speaking. Macherey(1978,p.86) Introduction This article is about the silences that often are registered but not so often highlighted and analysed with the anthropological tools of the ethnographer, referring as these do to the empirical world that can be captured. While there is abundant literature that helps the ethnographer refine the technical aspects of the writing of the narrative, it has been only recently that die political implications behind the epistemology and ontology of ethnography as a research strategy have been addressed in any depth. Rather than, therefore, looking at ways of improving the collection of data, this paper will consider an aspect that hidierto has been largely ignored in ethnography. The focus will be on what die edinographic text leaves unsaid. A number of silences will be identified with reference to the process, content, and political effectiveness of ethnographic narratives, although it will be argued that these silences or

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References (30)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN
1366-5898
eISSN
0951-8398
DOI
10.1080/0951839920050104
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

QUALITATIVE STUDIES IN EDUCATION, 1992, VOL. 5, NO. 1, 19-27 RONALD G. SULTANA University of Malta By speech, silence becomes the centre and principle of expression, its vanishing point. Speech eventually has nothing more to tell us: we investigate the silence, for it is the silence that is doing the speaking. Macherey(1978,p.86) Introduction This article is about the silences that often are registered but not so often highlighted and analysed with the anthropological tools of the ethnographer, referring as these do to the empirical world that can be captured. While there is abundant literature that helps the ethnographer refine the technical aspects of the writing of the narrative, it has been only recently that die political implications behind the epistemology and ontology of ethnography as a research strategy have been addressed in any depth. Rather than, therefore, looking at ways of improving the collection of data, this paper will consider an aspect that hidierto has been largely ignored in ethnography. The focus will be on what die edinographic text leaves unsaid. A number of silences will be identified with reference to the process, content, and political effectiveness of ethnographic narratives, although it will be argued that these silences or

Journal

International Journal of Qualititative Studies in EducationTaylor & Francis

Published: Jan 1, 1992

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