Social Experience and Anthropological Knowledge
Edited by Kirsten Hastrup, Peter Hervik
Routledge – 1994 – 264 pages
Anthropology poses an explicit challenge to standard notions of scientific knowledge. It claims to produce genuine insights into the workings of culture in general on the basis of individual social experience in the field. Social Experience and Anthropological Knowledge traces the process from the ethnographic experience to the analytical results, showing how fieldwork enables the ethnographer to arrive at an understanding, not only of `culture' and `society', but also of the processes by which cultures and societies are transformed. The contributors challenge the distinction between subjectivity and objectivity, redefine what we should mean by `empirical' and demonstrate the complexity of present-day epistemological problems through concrete examples. By demystifying subjectivity in the ethnographic process and re-emphasizing the vital position of fieldwork, they do much to renew confidence in the anthropological project of comprehending the world.