In departing from the traditional stance taken by anthropologists, who study 'others' ethnographically, this timely book explores forms of self-inscription on the part of both the ethnographer and those 'others' who are studied. Informed by developments in postmodernism, postcolonialism, and feminism, this is an original contribution to the growing dialogue across disciplinary boundaries. The chapters build upon recent reconsiderations of the uses and meaning of personal narrative to examine the ways in which selves and social forms are culturally constituted through biographical genres. Ethnic autobiography, self-reflexivity in ethnography, and native ethnography raise provocative questions about a range of issues for the contemporary scholar: authenticity of voice; ethnographic authority; and the degree to which autoethnography constitutes resistance to hegemonic bodies of discourse. Examined here in a variety of cultural and political contexts, writing about the self offers challenging insights into the construction and transformation of identities and cultural meanings.
Table of Contents
Contents: Deborah Reed-Danahay, Introduction -- Kay Warren, Narrating Cultural Resurgence: The Politics of Genre and Self-Representation for Mayan Activists -- David Kideckel, Autoethnography as Political Resistance: A Case from Socialist Romania -- Birgitta Svensson, The Power of Biography: Criminal Policy, Prison Life, and the Formation of Criminal Identities in the Swedish Welfare State -- Michael Herzfeld, The Taming of Revolution: Intense Paradoxes of the Self -- Henk Driessen, Lives Writ Large: Kabyle Self-Portraits and the Question of Identity -- Deborah Reed-Danahay, Educational Narratives and the Ethnography of Autoethnography in Rural France -- Alexandra Jaffe, Narrating the ‘I' versus narrating the ‘Isle': Life Histories and the Problem of Representation in Corsica -- Pnina Motzafi-Haller, Writing ‘Birthright': On Native Anthropologists and the Politics of Representation -- Caroline Brettell, Blurred Genres and Blended Voices: Life History, Biography, Autobiography and the Autoethnography of Women's Lives
Deborah Reed-Danahay Associate Professor,University of Texas at Arlington