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New Ethnographies

Journal of Contemporary Ethnography , Volume 13 (1): 113 – Apr 1, 1984


Sage Publications
Copyright © 1984 by SAGE Publications
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New Ethnographies


NEW ETHNOGRAPHIES 113 the Gypsy life-style. I kept wondering if I too believe the Gypsy myths. These criticisms do not seriously detract from the strength of Sibley's research, particularly the implications he draws con- cerning the unquestioned "benevolence" of the gift of social service programs to underprivileged and potentially deviant groups. -Jackie L. Howsden Research Management Systems THE LESBIAN COMMUNITY, Deborah Goleman Wolf, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1981. 212 pp. $10.95 (cloth), $4.95 (paper). Based on seven years of one feminist's study of the emerging lesbian feminist community of San Francisco, this very careful ethnography was begun in 1972, when lesbian academics felt unable to write about themselves and lesbian political leaders had to turn to other social scientists for aid in demystifying their lives and lifeways. By the time the results were published, leadership had changed, there were some lesbians who felt no one but lesbians could write about them, and/or who wanted their own new mythologies legitimated. Change in what one is studying may be regarded by some ethnographers as a peril of extended fieldwork, but Wolf saw it as an opportunity. Anthropologists like Wolf are not interested exclusively in "What did it used to
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