The translation of anthropological data: how to approach the chaos of fieldwork

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The translation of anthropological data: how to approach the chaos of fieldwork

Type: Part of book or chapter of book
Title: The translation of anthropological data: how to approach the chaos of fieldwork
Author: Bruijn, M.E. de
Start Page: 69
End Page: 84
Pages: 16
Publisher: ISOR
Issue Date: 1998
Keywords: Mali
pastoralists
anthropological research
Abstract: The translation of anthropological data into ethnography is a fuzzy process which all ethnographers go through. The process starts with the methodologies and techniques used in the field to gather data. These are used to get a grip on and order an often very chaotic reality. Through the process of analysis and description this ordering continues. The assumption behind this type of research is that people and societies can be understood as objects of knowledge. The author offers some insight into the process of gathering data and its translation into ethnography, using her own experiences in dryland Mali among Fulbe cattle keepers. She concludes that anthropologists should leave more room in their fieldwork for the nonordered realities, for moments of silence. They should get rid of the theoretical and descriptive models and terminology that are very common in anthropology but that make the translation of the experienced practice, emotions, etc. in an ethnographic text very difficult.
Uri: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/9643
urn:isbn:9051872801
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/9643
 

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