Ethnographic Sorcery

Author: Harry G. West
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226894126
Release Date: 2008-09-15
Genre: Social Science

According to the people of the Mueda plateau in northern Mozambique, sorcerers remake the world by asserting the authority of their own imaginative visions of it. While conducting research among these Muedans, anthropologist Harry G. West made a revealing discovery—for many of them, West’s efforts to elaborate an ethnographic vision of their world was itself a form of sorcery. In Ethnographic Sorcery, West explores the fascinating issues provoked by this equation. A key theme of West’s research into sorcery is that one sorcerer’s claims can be challenged or reversed by other sorcerers. After West’s attempt to construct a metaphorical interpretation of Muedan assertions that the lions prowling their villages are fabricated by sorcerers is disputed by his Muedan research collaborators, West realized that ethnography and sorcery indeed have much in common. Rather than abandoning ethnography, West draws inspiration from this connection, arguing that anthropologists, along with the people they study, can scarcely avoid interpreting the world they inhabit, and that we are all, inescapably, ethnographic sorcerers.

Global Knowledge Production in the Social Sciences

Author: Dr Christian Ersche
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
ISBN: 9781472426192
Release Date: 2014-10-28
Genre: Political Science

An innovative contribution to debates on the internationalization and globalization of the social sciences, this book pays particular attention to their theoretical and epistemological reconfiguration in the light of postcolonial critiques and critiques of Eurocentrism. Bringing together theoretical contributions and empirical case studies from around the world, including India, the Americas, South Africa, Australia and Europe, it engages in debates concerning public sociology and explores South-South research collaborations specific to the social sciences. Contributions transcend established critiques of Eurocentrism to make space for the idea of global social sciences and truly transnational research. Thematically arranged and both international and interdisciplinary in scope, this volume reflects the different theoretical and thematic backgrounds of the contributing authors, who enter into dialogue and debate with one another in the development of a more inclusive, more representative and more theoretically relevant stage for the social sciences. A rigorous critique of the contemporary state of the social sciences as well as an attempt to find another way of doing transnational sociology, Global Knowledge Production in the Social Sciences will appeal to scholars of sociology, political science and social theory with interests in the production of social scientific knowledge, postcolonialism and transnationalism in research.

Perspectives on Ecclesiology and Ethnography

Author: Pete Ward
Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
ISBN: 9780802867261
Release Date: 2012-03-15
Genre: Religion

Within the disciplines of religious studies, systematic theology, and practical theology there exists a divide between empirical and theological analyses of the church. Each volume in the cross-disciplinary series Studies in Ecclesiology and Ethnography attempts to address this gap by exploring the methodological and substantive issues that arise from both theological and empirical studies of the church's practices and social reality. Perspectives on Ecclesiology and Ethnography, the inaugural volume in the series, proposes that if theology is to regain its relevance to the church today, theologians must utilize ethnographical tools in order to provide more accurate, disciplined research that is situated in real contexts. Using "ethnography" in its broadest sense -- encompassing any form of qualitative research -- this volume proposes that the church is both theological and social/cultural, which implies the need for a methodological shift for researchers in theology. Contributions from twelve scholar-practitioners lead the way forward. Contributors Luke Bretherton Paul S. Fiddes Nicholas M. Healy Mary McClintock Fulkerson Alister E. McGrath Richard R. Osmer Elizabeth Phillips Christian Scharen John Swinton Pete Ward Clare Watkins John Webster

Theologically Engaged Anthropology

Author: J. Derrick Lemons
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780192518743
Release Date: 2018-08-23
Genre: Religion

After years of discussion within the field of anthropology concerning how to properly engage with theology, a growing number of anthropologists now want to engage with theology as a counterpart in ethnographic dialogue. Theologically Engaged Anthropology focuses on the theological history of anthropology, illuminating deeply held theological assumptions that humans make about the nature of reality, and illustrating how these theological assumptions manifest themselves in society. This volume brings together leading anthropologists and theologians to consider what theology can contribute to cultural anthropology and ethnography. It provides anthropologists and theologians with a rationale and framework for using theology in anthropological research.

Political Ethnography

Author: Edward Schatz
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226736784
Release Date: 2013-02-11
Genre: Social Science

Scholars of politics have sought in recent years to make the discipline more hospitable to qualitative methods of research. Lauding the results of this effort and highlighting its potential for the future, Political Ethnography makes a compelling case for one such method in particular. Ethnography, the contributors amply demonstrate in a wide range of original essays, is uniquely suited for illuminating the study of politics. Situating these pieces within the context of developments in political science, Edward Schatz provides an overarching introduction and substantive prefaces to each of the volume’s four sections. The first of these parts addresses the central ontological and epistemological issues raised by ethnographic work, while the second grapples with the reality that all research is conducted from a first-person perspective. The third section goes on to explore how ethnographic research can provide fresh perspectives on such perennial topics as opinion, causality, and power. Concluding that political ethnography can and should play a central role in the field as a whole, the final chapters illuminate the many ways in which ethnographic approaches can enhance, improve, and, in some areas, transform the study of politics.

Feminist Activist Ethnography

Author: Christa Craven
Publisher: Lexington Books
ISBN: 9780739176375
Release Date: 2013-04-04
Genre: Social Science

This collection reengages 20th century debates on feminist ethnography in a 21st century context. It serves as a critical dialog about the possibilities for feminist ethnography in the 21st century—at the intersection of engaged feminist research and collective activism. Contributors argue that feminist ethnography has much to offer contemporary debates over activist scholarship by posing feminist counter-visions to the overwhelmingly market-driven approach of neoliberal public policy efforts.

The Empty Seashell

Author: Nils Bubandt
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801471964
Release Date: 2014-12-18
Genre: Social Science

The Empty Seashell explores what it is like to live in a world where cannibal witches are undeniably real, yet too ephemeral and contradictory to be an object of belief. In a book based on more than three years of fieldwork between 1991 and 2011, Nils Bubandt argues that cannibal witches for people in the coastal, and predominantly Christian, community of Buli in the Indonesian province of North Maluku are both corporeally real and fundamentally unknowable. Witches (known as gua in the Buli language or as suanggi in regional Malay) appear to be ordinary humans but sometimes, especially at night, they take other forms and attack people in order to kill them and eat their livers. They are seemingly everywhere and nowhere at the same time. The reality of gua, therefore, can never be pinned down. The title of the book comes from the empty nautilus shells that regularly drift ashore around Buli village. Convention has it that if you find a live nautilus, you are a gua. Like the empty shells, witchcraft always seems to recede from experience. Bubandt begins the book by recounting his own confusion and frustration in coming to terms with the contradictory and inaccessible nature of witchcraft realities in Buli. A detailed ethnography of the encompassing inaccessibility of Buli witchcraft leads him to the conclusion that much of the anthropological literature, which views witchcraft as a system of beliefs with genuine explanatory power, is off the mark. Witchcraft for the Buli people doesn't explain anything. In fact, it does the opposite: it confuses, obfuscates, and frustrates. Drawing upon Jacques Derrida’s concept of aporia—an interminable experience that remains continuously in doubt—Bubandt suggests the need to take seriously people’s experiential and epistemological doubts about witchcraft, and outlines, by extension, a novel way of thinking about witchcraft and its relation to modernity.

Kupilikula

Author: Harry G. West
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226894053
Release Date: 2005-09-05
Genre: History

On the Mueda plateau in northern Mozambique, sorcerers are said to feed on their victims, sometimes "making" lions or transforming into lions to literally devour their flesh. When the ruling FRELIMO party subscribed to socialism, it condemned sorcery beliefs and counter-sorcery practices as false consciousness, but since undertaking neoliberal reform, the party—still in power after three electoral cycles—has "tolerated tradition," leaving villagers to interpret and engage with events in the idiom of sorcery. Now, when the lions prowl plateau villages ,suspected sorcerers are often lynched. In this historical ethnography of sorcery, Harry G. West draws on a decade of fieldwork and combines the perspectives of anthropology and political science to reveal how Muedans expect responsible authorities to monitor the invisible realm of sorcery and to overturn or, as Muedans call it, "kupilikula" sorcerers' destructive attacks by practicing a constructive form of counter-sorcery themselves. Kupilikula argues that, where neoliberal policies have fostered social division rather than security and prosperity, Muedans have, in fact, used sorcery discourse to assess and sometimes overturn reforms, advancing alternative visions of a world transformed.

Religion Against the Self An Ethnography of Tamil Rituals

Author: Isabelle Nabokov Assistant Professor of Anthropology Princeton University
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 9780198027355
Release Date: 2000-08-28
Genre: Social Science

In this comprehensive analysis of South Indian village Hinduism, Isabelle Nabokov shows that a wide spectrum of Tamil rituals effects transformations of identity through similar processual and symbolic operations. She reveals that such operations may lead participants to adopt personalities which are at odds with themselves.

Email from Ngeti

Author: James H. Smith
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520959408
Release Date: 2014-09-05
Genre: Social Science

Email from Ngeti is a captivating story of sorcery, redemption, and transnational friendship in the globalized twenty-first century. When the anthropologist James Smith returns to Kenya to begin fieldwork for a new research project, he meets Ngeti Mwadime, a young man from the Taita Hills who is as interested in the United States as Smith is in Taita. Ngeti possesses a savvy sense of humor and an unusual command of the English language, which he teaches himself by watching American movies and memorizing the Oxford English Dictionary. Smith and Mwadime soon develop a friendship that comes to span years and continents, impacting both men in profound and unexpected ways. For Smith, Ngeti can be understood as an exemplar of a young generation of Africans navigating the multiplicity of contemporary African life—a process that is augmented by globalized culture and the Internet. Keenly aware of the world outside Taita and Kenya, Ngeti dreams big, with endless plans for striking it rich. As he struggles to free himself from what he imagines to be the hold of the past, he embarks on an odyssey that takes him to local diviners, witch-finders, Pentecostal preachers, and prophets. This is the fascinating ethnography of Mwadime and Smith, largely told through their shared emails, journals, and recorded conversations in the field. Throughout, the reader is struck by the immediacy and poignancy of coauthor Ngeti's narrative, which marks a groundbreaking shift in the nature of anthropological fieldwork and writing.

2009

Author: K. G. Saur Verlag GmbH & Company
Publisher: Walter de Gruyter
ISBN: 3598694520
Release Date: 2009-12-01
Genre:

The IBR, published again since 1971 as an interdisciplinary, international bibliography of reviews, offers book reviews of literature dealing primarily with the humanities and social sciences published in 6,000 mainly European scholarly journals. This unique bibliography contains over 1.2 millions book reviews. 60,000 entries are added every year with details on the work reviewed and the review.

The Sorcerer s Burden

Author: Paul Stoller
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 9783319318059
Release Date: 2016-09-24
Genre: Social Science

This book emerges from the author's 35 years of research and thought about the Songhay people of Niger. This ethnographic novel follows the life of Omar Dia, the oldest son of a West African sorcerer. When his father falls ill and dies, the great sorcerer vomits a small metal chain onto his chest. Following the path of his ancestors, Omar swallows the chain, becoming his father's successor, which means that he takes on the sorcerer's burden. The book also describes how custodians of traditional knowledge are creatively adapting to the forces of globalization—all in a highly accessible narrative text.

Understanding Witchcraft and Sorcery in Southeast Asia

Author: C. W. Watson
Publisher: University of Hawaii Press
ISBN: 0824815157
Release Date: 1993
Genre: Body, Mind & Spirit

Witchcraft holds a perennial fascination for scholars and the public at large. In Southeast Asia malign magic and sorcery are part of the routine experience of villagers and urban dwellers alike, and stories appearing in the press from time to time bear witness to a persisting public concern. The essays presented in this volume describe what people believe and what actions result from those beliefs. Not surprisingly, given the range and variety of cultures, considerable differences exist in the region. Among some cultures, in Thailand and Indonesia for example, sorcerers are said to possess spirits that empower them to cause illness and misfortune. Elsewhere, in Malaysia and Sumatra, the power of the dukun derives from the accumulation of arcane knowledge and mystical practice. Contributors describe the witches and sorcerers they have met and suggest both how their societies look upon them and how we in turn should regard them. Understanding Witchcraft and Sorcery in Southeast Asia will appeal to scholars and students of social anthropology and comparative religion. Its substantial contribution to theoretical and comparative issues in a Southeast Asian context provides a fresh perspective on a stimulating topic.