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Fictions of Feminist Ethnography - Kamala Visweswaran

Fictions of Feminist Ethnography

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Though feminist ethnography has become fairly common, the question of what the term means remains open, with many of the texts falling under this rubric relying on unexamined notions of "sisterhood" and the recovery of "lost" voices. Writing about women in India, her work with them, and the nature of anthropology itself, Kamala Visweswaran addresses this question in the essays that make up "Fictions of Feminist Ethnography". Blurring ethnographic and literary genres, these essays employ strategies from history, fiction, autobiography and biography, deconstruction, and post-colonial discourse to reveal the fictions in anthropology and the anthropology in fiction, and, in the process, to devise a new approach to writing feminist ethnography. What sets Visweswaran's work apart from previous self-reflexive feminist ethnographies, which attend to the power relations between ethnographer and subject, is her rigorous engagement with the concrete inequalities, refusals, and misunderstandings within herself and among the women she worked with in India. In each essay, she takes very specific elipses and power differentials in her fieldwork and works out their epistemological consequences. The result is a series of contextualizations of the politics of identity in the field, at "home", and in and among the activities these women were engaged in during and after the nationalist movement in India. We learn in lucid detail about the partiality of knowledge and the inevitable difficulties and violations involved in "studying" the lives of women, both inside and outside the USA. Clearly and forcefully written, this book should be of interest not only to anthropologists, but also to cultural theorists and critics, feminist scholars and writers, and other social scientists who grapple with epistemological and political issues in their fields.

A Feminist Fable
Introduction: Fictions of Feminist Ethnographyp. 1
Defining Feminist Ethnographyp. 17
Betrayal: An Analysis in Three Actsp. 40
Refusing the Subjectp. 60
Feminist Reflections on Deconstructive Ethnographyp. 73
Feminist Ethnography as Failurep. 95
Identifying Ethnographyp. 114
Introductions to a Diaryp. 143
Sari Storiesp. 166
Glossaryp. 179
Notesp. 181
Indexp. 203
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780816623372
ISBN-10: 0816623376
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 224
Published: 10th May 1994
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2  x 1.27
Weight (kg): 0.32