Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Postmodernism :: essays papers

Postmodernism With the end of colonialism and the emergence of a seemingly new world order, there raised a demand that research be useful and relevant, indicating that knowledge for its own sake was insufficient. As a result of this, what emerged was a new focus on 'development' and 'modernization' in the form of postmodernism. In these changing times, anthropology has come into contact with a variety of evolving concepts, including hybridity, montage, fluidity, and deconstruction. The question remains, how these concepts reflect the social, cultural and political changes that are occurring in study of anthropology today. Postmodernism is an intellectual movement that promotes itself as the 'antithesis' of modernism, resulting from the intensification, radicalization, or transformation of the processes of modernity. (Barfield, 368) The term was introduced in the late 1940's, however, the turn towards, if not the origin of postmodernism in anthropology, can be traced to a single publication: Writing Culture (1986). It consisted of contributions from nine scholars, edited by Clifford and Marcus, and attempted to sketch out the basic premise of the postmodern perspective. (Harris, 153) Anthropologist are forced to contend with the changes created by postmodernism in a variety of ways, beginning with the challenge to anthropological authority. It is felt by many that it is incredibly arrogant for anthropologists to assume that they have both the capacity and mandate to dissect, interpret and describe the lives of people in other cultures, given the power and wealth imbalance of th e colonial past, leaving the 'other' unable to speak for him/herself. This argument finds itself in the whole 'West vs. Rest' spectrum, claiming that because of the nature in which traditional ethnologist where carried out, ex. Colonial, anglo- whites, ect.., that today, despite the multicultural and ethnically aware world that we live in, that anthropologists are not capable of unbiasedly and accurately producing ethnographic work. In part, there concern is founded. To my knowledge, there rests no undocumented peoples on the planet, as such, ethnologies today focus on sub-group structure and societal dynamics.

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