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Rethinking ethnography: Towards a critical cultural politics

Rethinking ethnography: Towards a critical cultural politics RETHINKING ETHNOGRAPHY: TOWARDS A CRITICAL CULTURAL POLITICS DWIGHT CONQUERGOOD / ^ RITICAL theory is not a unitary concept. It resembles a loose coalition of \^J interests more than a united front. But whatever it is or is not, one thing seems clear: Critical theory is committed to unveiling the political stakes that anchor cultural practices—research and scholarly practices no less than the everyday. On this point the participants in this forum agree. Yes, critical theory politicizes science and knowledge. Our disagreements arise from how we view (and value) the tension between science/knowledge and politics. Logical empiri- cists are dedicated to the eviction of politics from science. Critical theorists, on the other hand, are committed to the excavation of the political underpinnings of all modes of representation, including the scientific. Ethnography, with its ambivalent meanings as both a method of social science research and a genre of social science text (see Clifford 8c Marcus, 1986; Van Maanen, 1988), has been the most amenable of the social sciences to post- structuralist critique. It presents a particularly sensitive site for registering the aftershocks of critical theory. No group of scholars is struggling more acutely and productively with the political tensions of research http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Communication Monographs Taylor & Francis

Rethinking ethnography: Towards a critical cultural politics

Communication Monographs , Volume 58 (2): 16 – Jun 1, 1991

Rethinking ethnography: Towards a critical cultural politics

Communication Monographs , Volume 58 (2): 16 – Jun 1, 1991

Abstract

RETHINKING ETHNOGRAPHY: TOWARDS A CRITICAL CULTURAL POLITICS DWIGHT CONQUERGOOD / ^ RITICAL theory is not a unitary concept. It resembles a loose coalition of \^J interests more than a united front. But whatever it is or is not, one thing seems clear: Critical theory is committed to unveiling the political stakes that anchor cultural practices—research and scholarly practices no less than the everyday. On this point the participants in this forum agree. Yes, critical theory politicizes science and knowledge. Our disagreements arise from how we view (and value) the tension between science/knowledge and politics. Logical empiri- cists are dedicated to the eviction of politics from science. Critical theorists, on the other hand, are committed to the excavation of the political underpinnings of all modes of representation, including the scientific. Ethnography, with its ambivalent meanings as both a method of social science research and a genre of social science text (see Clifford 8c Marcus, 1986; Van Maanen, 1988), has been the most amenable of the social sciences to post- structuralist critique. It presents a particularly sensitive site for registering the aftershocks of critical theory. No group of scholars is struggling more acutely and productively with the political tensions of research

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References (26)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN
1479-5787
eISSN
0363-7751
DOI
10.1080/03637759109376222
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

RETHINKING ETHNOGRAPHY: TOWARDS A CRITICAL CULTURAL POLITICS DWIGHT CONQUERGOOD / ^ RITICAL theory is not a unitary concept. It resembles a loose coalition of \^J interests more than a united front. But whatever it is or is not, one thing seems clear: Critical theory is committed to unveiling the political stakes that anchor cultural practices—research and scholarly practices no less than the everyday. On this point the participants in this forum agree. Yes, critical theory politicizes science and knowledge. Our disagreements arise from how we view (and value) the tension between science/knowledge and politics. Logical empiri- cists are dedicated to the eviction of politics from science. Critical theorists, on the other hand, are committed to the excavation of the political underpinnings of all modes of representation, including the scientific. Ethnography, with its ambivalent meanings as both a method of social science research and a genre of social science text (see Clifford 8c Marcus, 1986; Van Maanen, 1988), has been the most amenable of the social sciences to post- structuralist critique. It presents a particularly sensitive site for registering the aftershocks of critical theory. No group of scholars is struggling more acutely and productively with the political tensions of research

Journal

Communication MonographsTaylor & Francis

Published: Jun 1, 1991

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