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Periodical article Periodical article
Title:Ethnography and the Meta-Narratives of Modernity
Authors:Englund, HarriISNI
Leach, James
Year:2000
Periodical:Current Anthropology
Volume:41
Issue:2
Pages:225-248
Language:English
Geographic term:Africa
Subject:anthropology
External link:https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/300126
Abstract:Current attempts to increase the relevance of sociocultural anthropology encourage anthropologists to engage in the study of modernity. In this discourse dominated by sociologists, the contribution of anthropology is often to reveal cultural diversity in globalization, leading to the notion of multiple modernities. Yet such ethnographic accounts draw upon familiar sociological abstractions such as time-space compression, commodification, individualization, disenchantment, and reenchantment. This article shows how an underlying meta-narrative preempts social scientific argument by making shifts in analytical scales look natural, as in the alleged need to 'situate' the particular in 'wider' contexts.
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