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6034 -- KÖPPING, KLAUS-PETER

The fieldworker as performative flaneur: Some thoughts on postmodernism and the transfiguration of doing anthropology
Zeitschrift für Ethnologie 130.2005:1-22


##The essay tries to delineate some of the major implications which postmodernism may have for the field of social and cultural anthropology. The features for a post-modern condition are abstracted from the survey undertaken by Zygmunt Bauman's "Intimations of Postmodernity" of 1992. The particular focus is not so much on the macro-social analysis which a diversity of authors adduce to the post-modern global condition but racher on the question of authenticity in regard to the domain of culture and, even more pronouncedly, in regard to the methodology of ethnographic research. It is argued that in a similar way as hybridity is seen as a normal condition of social processes and formations, the field-encounter may have to be perceived as a hybrid experience where the ideas of the researcher and the research subjects flow together. The essay argues that an understanding of the notion of the performative in its application to the field-encounter requires a dissolution of the binary domains of own and other which have for so long governed the implications of participant observation. The essay ends with an extrapolation of the idea of the anthropological field-worker as flaneur, hinted at by Bauman's critique of Baudrillard's view of the world.##

Keywords: postmodernism, performance, fieldwork, ethnographic representation, hybridity

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