Narrative and Social Science: Reclaiming the Existential
From the model developed by Malinowski, ethnographic writing has assumed a standard form. Implicit genre conventions include the unobtrusive presence of the ethnographer; the aim of representing "the native's point of view"; embellishment by jargon: a focus on everyday situations: and the contextual exegesis of native concepts. Such conventions serve to enhance anthropology's disciplinary respectability and authority. But the form is "monologic," revealing nothing of the multi-leveled richness of the encounter between scientist and subject. New narrative forms arc recommended, in which neither ethnographers nor subjects are presented as finished entities, but rather as open, vulnerable human colleagues. The work of Manda Cescra and Jose Maria Arguedas provides alternative models of the "dialogic," non-detached, anti-positivist approach favored by the author.
Reck, Gregory G. "Narrative and Social Science: Reclaiming the Existential." Issues in Integrative Studies 11 (1993): 63-74.
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