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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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Evidence and Power, Sour Sweet and Sour

Evidence and Power, Sour Sweet and Sour

(p.145) Evidence and Power, Sour Sweet and Sour
Empirical Futures

Virginia R. Dominguez

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter addresses a tricky problem at the intersection of epistemology and methodology that is central to Mintzian approaches to anthropology, history, power, ethnography, and political economy. To put it simply, it asks the reader to take a closer look at the pragmatics and politics of evidence in the production of knowledge. Sidney Mintz has always been concerned with what counts as evidence, what should count as evidence even if others have failed to notice it, and how evidence is used to bolster claims in everyday life as well as in scholarship. That many of these claims and uses underwrite visions of hierarchy and inequality of moderate to egregious sorts is key. To work against such claims and uses, the Mintzian approach has always championed the pursuit of evidence wherever it leads more than a prior commitment to a position.

Keywords:   epistemology, methodology, Mintzian approach, evidence, knowledge, Sidney Mintz

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