It used to be that people called ethnographers asked questions and people called informants answered the questions, which the ethnographers duly recorded and worked into monographs, but things don’t work that way anymore. It is not merely that the subjects of ethnographical study are increasingly unwilling to submit to so one-sided an exchange, one which reduces them to walking around archives from which data are to be extracted; ethnographers have a clearer understanding of what it is they must do if they are to comprehend people different from themselves—start a conversation and maintain one. It is dialogue that does it, however delicate and liable to misfire, not inquisition, however orderly and straight from the shoulder.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cultural Studies
- Language and Linguistics
- Visual Arts and Performing Arts
- Sociology and Political Science
- Linguistics and Language
- Literature and Literary Theory