By Margery Wolf

A Thrice-Told story is one ethnographer's innovative and strong reaction to the methodological concerns raised via feminist and postmodernist critics of conventional ethnography. the writer, a feminist anthropologist, makes use of 3 texts constructed out of her learn in Taiwan—a piece of fiction, anthropological fieldnotes, and a social technology article—to discover a few of those criticisms.Each textual content takes a unique point of view, is written in a distinct variety, and has assorted "outcomes," but all 3 contain a similar attention-grabbing set of occasions. a tender mom started to behave in a decidedly abherrant, maybe suicidal demeanour, and opinion in her village was once sharply divided over the explanation. used to be she changing into a shaman, posessed by means of a god? was once she deranged, short of actual restraint, medications, and hospitalization? Or used to be she being cynically manipulated via her ne'er-do-well husband to elicit sympathy and funds from her associates? after all, the girl used to be taken clear of the realm to her mother's condominium. For a few villagers, this settled the problem; for others the talk over her habit used to be most likely by no means actually resolved.The first textual content is a quick tale written presently after the incident, which happened virtually thrity years in the past; the second one textual content is a duplicate of the fieldnotes accumulated concerning the occasions coated within the brief tale; the 3rd textual content is an editorial released in 1990 in American Ethnologist that analyzes the incident from the author's present viewpoint. Following every one textual content is a observation within which the writer discusses such subject matters as experimental ethnography, polyvocality, authorial presence and keep an eye on, reflexivity, and a few of the diversities among fiction and ethnography.The 3 texts are framed by means of chapters within which the writer discusses the genereal difficulties posed by way of feminist and postmodernist critics of ethnography and offers her own exploration of those concerns in an issue that's strongly self-reflexive and theoretically rigorous. She considers a few feminist matters over colonial study tools and takes concerns with the insistence of a few feminists tha the subjects of ethnographic learn be set via those who find themselves studied. The publication concludes with a plea for ethnographic accountability in line with a much less educational and simpler viewpoint.

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Extra info for A Thrice-Told Tale: Feminism, Postmodernism, and Ethnographic Responsibility

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Wu Chieh asked 47 how he knew this, and he announced: "I'm a doctor. " When she looked embarrassed, he went on, "Really. I am not joking. " At this point 48'S mother and 153 arrived from Taipei with the god they bought. They looked exhausted and hot. 47 went up to 48'S mother and said: "See what I told you. Now she doesn't want it. " Later, Wu Chieh asked 369 (F 24) about the god, and 369 said that 48'S mother had tried to sell her the god because 48 didn't want it. Wu Chieh asked 369 why she thought 48 was ill.

Mother: "What about your sister-in-law? " 48: "Oh, this is two wrongs taking revenge on one another. Don't get angry, Mother. When you get angry, come to me and then you will be all right. This will all pass too, slowly. Mother, you just stay with me for ten days and cook for me because I can't cook anything now, then after that you won't have to ever do anything again. ) 439 (F 57) came in and asked 48 if she knew who she was. 4 8 said that her heart was in confusion and she would have to think for a minute.

30 (M F) asked 47 if he had said anything to 48'S mother. 47: "No, I just told her not to buy it, that's all. She just didn't want to help me. She just said that she was tired to death and went home. That's all. The god says that he will let her get well in five days. " 395 quickly said: "You mustn't say that. Don't say things like that. " 47: "Well, if she doesn't get well by Saturday, I am going to send her to the hospital. " She lay flat on her back, moving her arms up and down as though she were bai-bai-ing in a temple.

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