A Thrice-Told Tale: Feminism, Postmodernism, and Ethnographic Responsibility
Stanford University Press | ISBN: 0804719802 | 1992-04-01 | PDF | 164 pages | 5 Mb
is one ethnographer's imaginative and powerful response to the methodological issues raised by feminist and postmodernist critics of traditional ethnography. The author, a feminist anthropologist, uses three texts developed out of her research in Taiwan—a piece of fiction, anthropological fieldnotes, and a social science article—to explore some of these criticisms.
Each text takes a different perspective, is written in a different style, and has different "outcomes," yet all three involve the same fascinating set of events. A young mother began to behave in a decidedly abherrant, perhaps suicidal manner, and opinion in her village was sharply divided over the reason. Was she becoming a shaman, posessed by a god? Was she deranged, in need of physical restraint, drugs, and hospitalization? Or was she being cynically manipulated by her ne'er-do-well husband to elicit sympathy and money from her neighbors? In the end, the woman was taken away from the area to her mother's house. For some villagers, this settled the matter; for others the debate over her behavior was probably never truly resolved.
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