Shared Blessings as Ethnographic Practice1

Shared Blessings as Ethnographic Practice1 SHARED BLESSINGS AS ETHNOGRAPHIC PRACTICE1 ANN GRODZINS GOLD In this tentative essay I attempt to think about my own fieldwork experiences and interpretive practices in the light of ongoing, ever troubling critiques of the "awkward relationship" (Strathem 1987) between feminism and anthropology, and the still more awkward relationship between anthropology and asymmetrical power struc- tures-an awkwardness with deep roots in colonial and postcolonial histories.' I hope I have not written only in retrospective self-defense, but rather that what I have to say about fieldwork will illuminate what I have had to say about women's expressive traditions, rituals, and lives (see especially Gold 1994; Gold 2000; Raheja and Gold 1994). I hope also that the thoughts formalized here, when added to that more substantive body of writing, might contribute to thinking through the ultimately intractable problem of how it is possible in these somewhat gloomy latter days of the second millennium to learn from, talk with, write and teach about, cultural others (which is, incidentally, what I do for a living). Rather than putting together a jigsaw puzzle, this enterprise felt to me more like adding layers of texture and images to an already very complicated and overloaded collage. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Method & Theory in the Study of Religion Brill

Shared Blessings as Ethnographic Practice1

Method & Theory in the Study of Religion, Volume 13 (1-4): 34 – Jan 1, 2001

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2001 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0943-3058
eISSN
1570-0682
DOI
10.1163/157006801X00066
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

SHARED BLESSINGS AS ETHNOGRAPHIC PRACTICE1 ANN GRODZINS GOLD In this tentative essay I attempt to think about my own fieldwork experiences and interpretive practices in the light of ongoing, ever troubling critiques of the "awkward relationship" (Strathem 1987) between feminism and anthropology, and the still more awkward relationship between anthropology and asymmetrical power struc- tures-an awkwardness with deep roots in colonial and postcolonial histories.' I hope I have not written only in retrospective self-defense, but rather that what I have to say about fieldwork will illuminate what I have had to say about women's expressive traditions, rituals, and lives (see especially Gold 1994; Gold 2000; Raheja and Gold 1994). I hope also that the thoughts formalized here, when added to that more substantive body of writing, might contribute to thinking through the ultimately intractable problem of how it is possible in these somewhat gloomy latter days of the second millennium to learn from, talk with, write and teach about, cultural others (which is, incidentally, what I do for a living). Rather than putting together a jigsaw puzzle, this enterprise felt to me more like adding layers of texture and images to an already very complicated and overloaded collage.

Journal

Method & Theory in the Study of ReligionBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2001

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