By Margery Wolf

A Thrice-Told Tale is one ethnographer's inventive and robust reaction to the methodological concerns raised via feminist and postmodernist critics of conventional ethnography. the writer, a feminist anthropologist, makes use of 3 texts built out of her examine in Taiwan—a piece of fiction, anthropological fieldnotes, and a social technological know-how article—to discover a few of those criticisms.
Each textual content takes a distinct standpoint, is written in a unique type, and has assorted "outcomes," but all 3 contain a similar attention-grabbing set of occasions. a tender mom started to behave in a decidedly abherrant, possibly suicidal demeanour, and opinion in her village used to be sharply divided over the explanation. was once she changing into a shaman, posessed by means of a god? used to be she deranged, short of actual restraint, medications, and hospitalization? Or used to be she being cynically manipulated via her ne'er-do-well husband to elicit sympathy and cash from her friends? in spite of everything, the lady was once taken clear of the realm to her mother's residence. For a few villagers, this settled the problem; for others the talk over her habit used to be most likely by no means actually resolved.
The first textual content is a brief tale written presently after the incident, which happened virtually thrity years in the past; the second one textual content is a replica of the fieldnotes accumulated concerning the occasions coated within the brief tale; the 3rd textual content is an editorial released in 1990 in American Ethnologist that analyzes the incident from the author's present standpoint. Following each one textual content is a observation within which the writer discusses such themes as experimental ethnography, polyvocality, authorial presence and keep watch over, reflexivity, and a few of the variations among fiction and ethnography.
The 3 texts are framed via chapters within which the writer discusses the genereal difficulties posed by means of feminist and postmodernist critics of ethnography and offers her own exploration of those concerns in a controversy that's strongly self-reflexive and theoretically rigorous. She considers a few feminist issues over colonial study equipment and takes matters with the insistence of a few feminists tha the themes of ethnographic study be set by way of those who find themselves studied. The booklet concludes with a plea for ethnographic accountability in keeping with a much less educational and more effective perspective.

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A Thrice-Told Tale: Feminism, Postmodernism, and Ethnographic Responsibility by Margery Wolf

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