Paideuma 44.1998: 51-58
Kohl reflects on meanings, connotations, and usage of "dialog" - starting from the recent approach of dialogical (and polyphone) anthropology. He describes seeming "dialog" - when it is used to affirm equality while it is factually applied in a hierarchical situation, reflects on dialog in fieldwork, etc. Possibilities of cognition are examined, such as proficiency of language in the fieldwork process, the ethnographic monograph as a representation of dialog, and the author concludes, with Clifford Geertz, that the ethnographer cannot escape the "burden of authorship". Thus he arrives at the "limits of understanding" and hence, misunderstanding. As a conclusion for the time being Kohl advocates the "enlargement of intersubjectives", i.e. to include as many dialogs as possible to arrive at a broader comparative basis.
Keywords: dialogical anthropology, cognition, understanding, hermeneutics, othering, alterity, misunderstanding, equality, hierarchy, fieldwork