By Margery Wolf
A Thrice-Told story is one ethnographer's creative and strong reaction to the methodological matters raised through feminist and postmodernist critics of conventional ethnography. the writer, a feminist anthropologist, makes use of 3 texts built out of her learn 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 unique standpoint, is written in a distinct type, and has varied "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 was once sharply divided over the explanation. used to be she turning into a shaman, posessed by means of a god? used to be she deranged, wanting actual restraint, medicines, and hospitalization? Or used to be she being cynically manipulated through her ne'er-do-well husband to elicit sympathy and funds from her friends? finally, the lady used to be taken clear of the world to her mother's residence. For a few villagers, this settled the problem; for others the talk over her habit was once most likely by no means actually resolved.The first textual content is a quick tale written almost immediately after the incident, which happened nearly thrity years in the past; the second one textual content is a duplicate of the fieldnotes amassed concerning the occasions lined 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 every one textual content is a observation within which the writer discusses such subject matters as experimental ethnography, polyvocality, authorial presence and keep an eye on, reflexivity, and a few of the diversities among fiction and ethnography.The 3 texts are framed by way of chapters during which the writer discusses the genereal difficulties posed through 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 matters over colonial study equipment and takes concerns with the insistence of a few feminists tha the subjects of ethnographic examine be set by means of those who find themselves studied. The ebook concludes with a plea for ethnographic accountability in line with a much less educational and more effective point of view.
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Additional resources for A Thrice-Told Tale: Feminism, Postmodernism, and Ethnographic Responsibility
Her competence in meeting these standards is another issue. A writer of fiction, however, has another set of rules-all she need do is tell a convincing story. The novelist or short story writer is in total control of the information presented, the attitudes and motives of her characters, and the sequence of events. She can even call down typhoons or the wrath of the gods. More important, she can, and in the case 1 have presented here does, cut off many alternative explanations for the events that she purports to describe.
My grandmother says that she gave her back all her money. " I I 3 and 3 I both laughed and said, "That is not true. She is just crazy. If it was really true she wouldn't say that she wanted to be a bride with her husband. Ong Hue-lieng said that it wasn't true. " 113: "Last night they had a doctor in and he gave her a shot and told them not to let people stand around and look at her. You have to believe in the gods, but you have to have a doctor to do something about it too. They just kept thinking that the god was in her body and kept asking the god for help and didn't give her any medicine.
How do you know? " "Not everyone. Lots of people are like ducks. If they see one duck jump in the river, then they jump in too. " "Got me. I worked late last night-weekends are good for business. By the time I got up this morning, nobody seemed particularly interested anymore. I guess they're interested in what will happen next but not excited. " I shrugged my shoulders diplomatically and was saved from an answer by a commotion at the door to the Tan house. The women moved back, and Ong Hue-lieng came out with an irritated look on his face.