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Kinaesthetic detours in ethnographic representation
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Child and Youth Studies.
2011 (English)Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In 1989 the American anthropologist Paul Stoller argued in favour of taking detours in his now classic The taste of ethnographic things, subtitled the senses in anthropology. Detours, he argued, may be theoretical, or artistic. One way is to strive for what he calls “radical empiricism”. This demands a different kind of text (or film), where the senses are given greater prominence. He writes: “This kind of respect directs writers and filmmakers onto a radically empirical detour along which we can achieve the most simple yet most allusive goal of ethnography: to give our readers or viewers a sense of what it is like to live in other worlds, a taste of ethnographic things” (1989: 156). Recently, a “sensory revolution” (Howes, 2005) has fuelled and interest in perception and the senses. This paper draws on research with a sensory ethnography (Pink, 2009) approach. It focuses the un/knowing body and deals with epistemological issues related to collecting and representing sensory ethnographic material. It is argued that scientific texts (in a wide sense) need richer sensory “data” in order to more fully understand learning and knowing in a contemporary world. Moreover, the paper problematizes the prevalent logocentrism in society.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-60156OAI: diva2:433540
Estetiska lärprocesser. Kunskap, kropp och skateboardkultur.
Swedish Research Council, 2007-4033
Available from: 2011-08-10 Created: 2011-08-10 Last updated: 2011-08-11Bibliographically approved

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Bäckström, Åsa
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