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Empirical FuturesAnthropologists and Historians Engage the Work of Sidney W. Mintz$
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George Baca, Aisha Khan, and Stephan Palmie

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780807833452

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807895344_baca

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(p.1) Introduction
Empirical Futures

Stephan Palmié

Aisha Khan

George Baca

University of North Carolina Press

This book begins with a description of how anthropologists have long joined an interdisciplinary discourse that speaks of traditions as invented, communities as imagined, and races as socially constructed. In methodological terms, this has led anthropologists to question cultural or sociological “holism” as “totalization,” to view ethnographies as scholarly allegories grounded in carefully cultivated fictions of unmediated empirical authority, to “deterritorialize” definitions of field sites, to approach identities as produced by processes of subjectification, to denaturalize notions of difference, to rethink kinship and its relation to social structure with investigations of “flexible” or “fluid” modes of relationality and belonging, to eschew generalization in favor of situated anecdotal evidence, and to strive for novel modes of representation.

Keywords:   anthropologists, interdisciplinary discourse, methodological terms, sociological holism, scholarly allegories, empirical authority

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