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[Xmca-l] Re: Fwd: [Sed-l] "Should anthropology break up withethnography?"
- To: Greg Thompson <email@example.com>, "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Fwd: [Sed-l] "Should anthropology break up withethnography?"
- From: Larry Purss <email@example.com>
- Date: Fri, 13 May 2016 17:38:34 -0700
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On page 389 Tim explores the difference between *intersubjectivity* and his meaning for the term *correspondence* He defines correspondence as “launched in the current of real time, participant observation couples the forward movements of one’s own perception and action with the movements of others, much as melodic lines are coupled in musical counterpoint. For this coupling of movements that, as they proceed, continually answer to each other. Tim emphasizes *correspondence* has nothing to do with *representation* or *description*.
Tim makes a fascinating distinction about living *attentionally* in contrast to *intentionally* with others.
Tim that when living *attentionally* gets cast within the frame of ethnography, correspondence *re-appears* in the guise of *inter/subjectivity*. And intersubjectivity [following Husserl] is about living with others NOT attentionally, but intentionally.
Correspondence [as Tim means this term] is *not* a relation *between* one subject and other subjects [as the prefix *inter* indicates] but is a relation that *carries on* or *unfolds* along [con]current paths. Being within the current *with* others.
Also, in this way of attentionally carrying on are not *already thrown* as the suffix *ject* implies but reside within the throwing.
They are not subjects, or objects, or hybrid subject/objects. They are verbs. All beings are in this relation and the human way is *humaning* Indeed humans are not actually beings at all but are *becomings* as humaning ways.
In other words this way realizes they are corresponding – living lives that weave around *each other*within ever extending ways.
To practise participant observation is to join in correspondence with others with whom we *learn* as a travelling that goes forward rather than backward in time. As such, this way of travelling is the very opposite of ethnography.
Greg, I wonder if this is merely shamanic moves. I *hear* the melody of the concept *mitsein* flowing [con]currently within this stream of thought, this way of travelling.
I hear Tim wanting to *limit* ethnography and what it does. To recognize how it is the opposite of correspondence. We can write *about* our experiences *afterwards* and this is ethnography. A valid practise. What Tim is saying that this is *not* living *attentionally* which is the humaning way forward.
A fascinating ex/ploration of *mit/sein* or being with the other that is deeper grounded than notions of being *side by side*. It is a deeper ground within a mutual *world* of humaning.
Sent from Mail for Windows 10
From: Greg Thompson
Sent: Friday, May 13, 2016 12:17 PM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Fwd: [Sed-l] "Should anthropology break up withethnography?"
That's funny, I didn't know that Anthropology and Ethnography were a
couple! I thought I saw that Anthropology's facebook page lists its
relationship to ethnography as: "It's complicated."
(seems like sometimes in the 80's when it changed to this from its former
But seriously, I get both sides of the argument here (and it is worth
looking at the free pdf of Ingold's essay:
I think what Ingold is trying to do is, on the one hand, to shave off the
bad parts of what anthropologists have been doing in the past and to throw
it into the conceptual bin of "ethnography" (or maybe "merely descriptive
ethnography"). On the other hand, he is taking all the good bits of what
anthropology could be and throwing it into the conceptual bin called
"participant observation." Ingold's move is really more of a disciplinary
shamanic move than it is necessarily an intellectual move (although these
aren't much different!). It is an attempt to do a kind of conceptual
cleansing, a rite of purification in which one seeks toeliminate the
profane (e.g., all the stuff that Writing Cultures and Fabian and others
have brought up about the terrors of ethnography, schizotemprality,
othering, silencing subalterns, and so on) while at the same time seizing
upon the sacred (i.e., the real possibilites that participant observation
holds, particularly cultivating the practice of empathy). This is necessary
because anthropology must adapt to changing understandings of what is
constituted as profane or sacred. Simply put, this is an attempt at ritual
That said, I think Cook has an interesting point here in as much as she
points to something that is missing, or at least not well articulated in
Ingold's essay, namely, What/how does one write-up what one has
participatingly observed? Ingold's essay only gives clues, "correspondence"
rather than "description" seems to be the main axis that he introduces as a
general guidepost to writing. But, of course, I'm not sure what he would
have in mind as a write-up of participant observation that involves
"correspondence" (perhaps something like Luke Eric Lassiter's collaborative
But in the end, it seems, Ingold isn't necessarily wanting to throw out the
ethnographic baby with the schizotemporal (etc.) bathwater. Instead it
seems he is actually looking for a more substantial relationship between
ethnography and theory (and to respond to Cook's critique: doesn't Liebow's
Tally's Corner do this? Or is Liebow's ethnography merely descriptive
particularism? That's an interesting question). Here, Ingold's argument
slips into a much simpler argument: ethnography as descriptive
particularism will not do. Instead, ethnography needs theory (e.g., he
proposes that the parabola of theory and the parabola of ethnography be put
face to face with each other so that they overlap and that the overlap is
anthropology). Or to put this relationship a bit more simply: it's
On Fri, May 13, 2016 at 11:18 AM, mike cole <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> The discussion in the blog post below ought to be relevant to all those on
> the list who use qualitative
> methods they identify as ethnographic in their work.
> Provocatively posted on the Cultural Anthropology journal Facebook page
> this morning with the heading "Should anthropology break up with
> ethnography?" a letter responding to a recent Tim Ingold piece.
> It is the dilemma of psychology to deal as a natural science with an object
> that creates history. Ernst Boesch
Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
Department of Anthropology
880 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602