A Divided Intellectual Tradition: Soviet Ethnography in the 1970S

A Divided Intellectual Tradition: Soviet Ethnography in the 1970S STEPHEN P. DUNN and ETHEL DUNN (Berkeley, Calif., U.S.A.) A DI VIDED INTELLECTUAL TRADITION: SOVIET ETHNOGRAPHY IN THE 1970S* I. INTRODUCTION We should make it clear at the outset that the division spoken of in the title of this essay is basically the same one which affects the discipline of social and cultural anthropology in the West, with certain added features and exacerbating factors. This division arises from the fact that the ethno- graphic method as such seems to have reached an impasse. The social units for the study of which it was created-isolated tribal groups, self-sufficient peasant communities, and even socially and culturally self-contained urban . neighborhoods-have ceased to exist almost everywhere, and where they do survive, represent obvious anachronisms, the study of which appears to be of purely theoretical or antiquarian interest. Accordingly, both in the West and in the Soviet Union, social anthropologists (or ethnographers) have begun to look for ways to adapt the methodology in which they were train- ed to new circumstances, or for new methodologies which they can use without radical retraining or change of focus. In Soviet ethnography-partly because, as we will see shortly, it is a smaller field, more centralized http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Soviet and Post Soviet Review Brill

A Divided Intellectual Tradition: Soviet Ethnography in the 1970S

The Soviet and Post Soviet Review, Volume 11 (1): 48 – Jan 1, 1984

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 1984 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1075-1262
eISSN
1876-3324
D.O.I.
10.1163/187633284X00035
Publisher site
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Abstract

STEPHEN P. DUNN and ETHEL DUNN (Berkeley, Calif., U.S.A.) A DI VIDED INTELLECTUAL TRADITION: SOVIET ETHNOGRAPHY IN THE 1970S* I. INTRODUCTION We should make it clear at the outset that the division spoken of in the title of this essay is basically the same one which affects the discipline of social and cultural anthropology in the West, with certain added features and exacerbating factors. This division arises from the fact that the ethno- graphic method as such seems to have reached an impasse. The social units for the study of which it was created-isolated tribal groups, self-sufficient peasant communities, and even socially and culturally self-contained urban . neighborhoods-have ceased to exist almost everywhere, and where they do survive, represent obvious anachronisms, the study of which appears to be of purely theoretical or antiquarian interest. Accordingly, both in the West and in the Soviet Union, social anthropologists (or ethnographers) have begun to look for ways to adapt the methodology in which they were train- ed to new circumstances, or for new methodologies which they can use without radical retraining or change of focus. In Soviet ethnography-partly because, as we will see shortly, it is a smaller field, more centralized

Journal

The Soviet and Post Soviet ReviewBrill

Published: Jan 1, 1984

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