Der Ethnologe als Fremder. Zur Genealogie einer rhetorischen Figur
Zeitschrift für Ethnologie 130.2005:23-44

The anthropologist as stranger. On the genealogy of a rhetorical figure of speeeh
##Some of the most exciting metaphors which anthropologists have disseminated with their writings are not about others but about themselves. Lévi-Strauss and Balandier were among the first to refer to the method of fieldwork as a "technique of homelessness" as a result of this technique, the anthropologist will never feel at home again in any society, he becomcs a marginal man and a stranger according to Agar, Freilich and many others; and Nash describes the anthropological community "as a place where strangers meet". This article will discuss the image of being a stranger and its attractiveness for the anthropologist. In a famous expression by Simmel, the stranger is the one "who comes today and stays tomorrow". In this light, the anthropologist as stranger poses a strong rhetorical boundary marker against the transient traveller and his writings. While the traveller gives expression to his personal experiences, the stranger in the sense of Simmel, Schuetz and others is surrounded by an aura of objectivity. The metaphor of the anthropologist as stranger, so prominent during a particular period of our discipline, gives ethnographic writing an "imprimatur of truth". - However, the metaphor of the anthropologist as stranger and the images transported by it (e.g. "the anthropologist as hero") vanished in the first half of the eighties. New and more persuasive metaphors - e.g."the ethnographic gaze") came up to outline what anthropologists are and what they do. But what are the reasons for this rhetorical turn?##

Keywords: strangers, xenology, metaphor, ethnographic gaze, self-image of anthropologists, fieldwork, marginal man