The Ethnographic Case
Yates-Doerr, Emily (editor)
Labuski, Christine (editor)
The Ethnographic Case A doctor injects turpentine into the leg of a dying patient; the patient lives and years later a granddaughter uses this story of survival to write a story of her own. A refugee is questioned in court for falsifying paternity; a cultural expert intervenes to develop a legal case for kinship that exceeds DNA. A caring father lives a powerful truth, though a filmmaker must misrepresent Ecuadorian prostitutes in order to share it. In all three cases, “the case” shapes possibilities for action. In all three cases, “the case” is different than it was the case before. The Ethnographic Case challenges a widespread academic inclination to treat concepts as immutable mobiles. The contributions to this volume develop “ethnographic casing” as a technique of attending to heterogeneities in systems of thought. Medical cases. Legal cases. Briefcases. Detective cases. Some cases featured are violent, others compassionate; some set stereotypes in motion, others break them down. Connected more by difference than similarity, the “cases” in this volume make a case for the virtue of relational science. This is a science that is not beholden to the masters’ narratives, but which embraces the double-work of caring for detail, while caring for the practices through which one learns to care. In 26 gripping and provocative installations, the volume showcases research from numerous influential feminist and decolonial scholars. Where anthropology has long sought to identify patterns in culture, this volume makes space for inquiry focused on particularities and advocates for an intellectual politics where that which doesn’t fit is still allowed to matter.
Publication date and placeManchester, 2017
Society & social sciences