Comments for Savage Minds http://savageminds.org Notes and Queries in Anthropology Tue, 30 Jun 2015 00:09:05 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Comment on Kennedy and the Triumph of the Social by [NEWS] Some Pride links | A Bit More Detail http://savageminds.org/2015/06/26/kennedy-and-the-triumph-of-the-social/comment-page-1/#comment-837728 Tue, 30 Jun 2015 00:09:05 +0000 http://savageminds.org/?p=17302#comment-837728 […] the differences between this court case and past cases involving interracial marriage, Savage Minds looks at the anthropological perspective, and the Tin Man reflects on the […]

]]>
Comment on Kennedy and the Triumph of the Social by seth edenbaum http://savageminds.org/2015/06/26/kennedy-and-the-triumph-of-the-social/comment-page-1/#comment-837727 Mon, 29 Jun 2015 16:31:05 +0000 http://savageminds.org/?p=17302#comment-837727 Disparate Impact isn’t new, and it’s been under attack for years.The victory is that it’s survived. http://blog.constitutioncenter.org/2013/11/will-disparate-impact-survive/

And the question of societal norms is the basis of “living constitutionalism”. In Canada arguments from originalism are forbidden before the courts following a decision in 1929. The Living Tree Doctrine

Jack Balkin “Why are Americans Originalist?” http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2379587

As to the relation to social science there’s what for me a deeply frustrating symposium at Crooked Timber on a new book by Danielle Allen http://crookedtimber.org/2015/06/26/danielle-allen-seminar/
Frustrating (and not only because I’m banned) because she’s trying to come to terms with the participatory nature of societal change and development. It’s like watching some one who grew up in libraries struggling to come to terms with the importance of the schoolyard. One of the posters is a lawyer and blogs with Balkin, and she comments that Allen is thinking like a lawyer. The post drew two comments.

And I’m back to my old argument that lawyers are the model of participatory intellectualism that social scientists have a hard time matching. PoMo theorizing being a way to reinvent a participant as a holder of universal wisdom, the passive aggressive false humility of Derrida Inc.

]]>
Comment on Committing Crimes during Fieldwork: Ethics, Ethnography, and “On The Run” by seth edenbaum http://savageminds.org/2015/06/25/committing-crimes-during-fieldwork-ethics-ethnography-and-on-the-run/comment-page-1/#comment-837726 Mon, 29 Jun 2015 15:50:21 +0000 http://savageminds.org/?p=17269#comment-837726 White academia vs black academia, the anxiety of black bourgeois watching the white bourgeois studying and celebrating antisocial behavior of the working classes etc.

http://thenewinquiry.com/essays/black-life-annotated/

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2014/07/alice_goffman_s_on_the_run_she_is_wrong_about_black_urban_life.html

]]>
Comment on Committing Crimes during Fieldwork: Ethics, Ethnography, and “On The Run” by Prof West http://savageminds.org/2015/06/25/committing-crimes-during-fieldwork-ethics-ethnography-and-on-the-run/comment-page-1/#comment-837725 Mon, 29 Jun 2015 12:50:13 +0000 http://savageminds.org/?p=17269#comment-837725 I struggle with ethnography, because I want to trust that the honesty and diligence of the person whose research I am reading is at the highest possible standard. With OTR, my initial read was “wow”, she was in the middle of it. All the time.

Changing names, dates, timelines, locations, etc. to protect the anonymity of her subjects seemed to have been a disaster in this book. Reporters (and one anonymous web critic) figured out relatively easily who her subjects were and started to expose where her changed timeline/dates/locations shaded her stories, ie Wynnefield neighborhood vs. Walnut Hill and what the demographics of the two neighborhoods really are.

The hospital story is false, and the longer she and ethnographers try to defend it, the sillier they will look. She didn’t see one father arrested in a maternity ward for an outstanding warrant. She saw THREE. The same night. But won’t say the name of the hospital because she wants to protect her subjects now ruined anonymity.

I understand the pressure to make a story with more sizzle, but she could have easily kept all her unbelievable stories in there, by just saying “chuck saw”, “mike saw”, etc..

Billypenn has the best review of the book:

“Goffman, whose book could just as feasibly have been subtitled “A White Penn Girl’s Journey to Black and Back” says that by the time she moved on to Princeton she had become so black that “The first day, I caught myself casing the classrooms in the Sociology Department, making a mental note of the TVs and computers I could steal if I ever needed cash in a hurry.” She goes on to say how hard it was to assimilate back into wealthy whiteness.

Let’s review that: Goffman claims to have become so black, she was always looking for shit to steal. That’s blackness, and West Philly, to Alice Goffman. ”

http://billypenn.com/2015/06/19/alice-goffman-and-the-problems-with-re-reporting-on-the-run-guest-column/

]]>
Comment on Committing Crimes during Fieldwork: Ethics, Ethnography, and “On The Run” by [LINK] “Committing Crimes during Fieldwork: Ethics, Ethnography, and “On The Run”” | A Bit More Detail http://savageminds.org/2015/06/25/committing-crimes-during-fieldwork-ethics-ethnography-and-on-the-run/comment-page-1/#comment-837717 Fri, 26 Jun 2015 22:38:59 +0000 http://savageminds.org/?p=17269#comment-837717 […] Minds’ Alex Golub takes a look, from the social sciences perspective, about Alice Grossman’s controversial On The Run. I […]

]]>
Comment on Anonymity, Ethnography, and Alice Goffman: Welcome, journalists by Ryan http://savageminds.org/2015/06/19/anonymity-ethnography-and-alice-goffman-welcome-journalists/comment-page-1/#comment-837715 Fri, 26 Jun 2015 18:02:33 +0000 http://savageminds.org/?p=17272#comment-837715 I think Kerim is right that we often delude ourselves about how much it protects anyone when we change a few names and dates. I also agree with Tony–the protections that are offered only really serve the university itself. IRB forms and informed consent processes are filled with all kinds of legal jargon, but outside of the US how much weight do they really carry? Probably next to nothing. The other issue is that many IRB’s include a statement about having to show data to “legal authorities” in certain cases, which should tell us all just how few protections this offers for the people we work with. It’s all about covering the interests of the university bureaucracy–and not the subjects themselves (as Tony clearly points out).

]]>
Comment on Committing Crimes during Fieldwork: Ethics, Ethnography, and “On The Run” by Bret Hampton http://savageminds.org/2015/06/25/committing-crimes-during-fieldwork-ethics-ethnography-and-on-the-run/comment-page-1/#comment-837714 Fri, 26 Jun 2015 15:42:28 +0000 http://savageminds.org/?p=17269#comment-837714 First, I haven’t read the book yet (my copy is in the mail), but I have read the controversy/discussion around it, and it’s been both interesting, and equally disheartening. It seems a lot of the critique about Goffman’s methods has come from areas that aren’t familiar with ethnography as a method, so are critiquing her based on their own values about what quantifies proper scholarship. I’ve done some fieldwork in a hospital setting and that has led to some ethical problems in itself, possibly ones where I too could have been charged had things turned out slightly different (though I chose not to include the specific event in my field notes in discussion with my supervisor, out of a desire to protect my interlocutors and myself if the worst was to happen). Could she have glossed over the episode completely, of course, but in what I interpret as a desire to be honest to not only herself, but the readers, and the community she is representing, chose to include a very difficult situation in order to fully disclose what life is like. As ethnographers, we expect (for the most part), for our interlocutors to be as honest and truthful as they can in their lives with us, should we not aspire to those same demands in our own work? The other point, is that while it is easy for us to look on this and say, ‘oh, she did a bad bad thing’, we need to remember the context, she had been living with these friends for years, they were like family to her, until we have been in that situation it is hard to remark on what we would do. Myself, I have been in a situation similar, and remember quite clearly the thoughts that went through my head in those terrible and tense few minutes, so I have no reservations of her actions on that day.

]]>
Comment on Committing Crimes during Fieldwork: Ethics, Ethnography, and “On The Run” by Chad Nilep http://savageminds.org/2015/06/25/committing-crimes-during-fieldwork-ethics-ethnography-and-on-the-run/comment-page-1/#comment-837713 Fri, 26 Jun 2015 03:31:14 +0000 http://savageminds.org/?p=17269#comment-837713 I would add one thing, which is not a directly a comment on On The Run or the Lubet-Goffman dust up, but is somewhat related.

Part of informed consent should include informing subjects of the researcher’s position on legal requirements. If, for example, the researcher is expected to disclose certain behaviors to police or other authorities (as is the case with many IRB-approved projects), then subjects should take that into account when deciding how much to open up to the researcher.

]]>
Comment on “Slow” Medicine in Fast Times by siennarcraig http://savageminds.org/2015/06/23/slow-medicine-in-fast-times/comment-page-1/#comment-837712 Thu, 25 Jun 2015 20:30:26 +0000 http://savageminds.org/?p=17186#comment-837712 Thanks, Mary. I like the idea of trying to reach out to Ayurvedic practitioners as well. And, indeed, your important work shows that it is not just amchi who are marginalized in the MoHP system….

]]>
Comment on “Slow” Medicine in Fast Times by Mary Cameron http://savageminds.org/2015/06/23/slow-medicine-in-fast-times/comment-page-1/#comment-837710 Thu, 25 Jun 2015 14:11:29 +0000 http://savageminds.org/?p=17186#comment-837710 Very important insights into the cultural efficacy of amchis’ healing and beautifully written. Thanks, Sienna. I wonder the feasibility of incorporating Ayurvedic practitioners into the health camps and the RAPID grant. They manage to keep this practice alive and flourishing in spite of receiving less than 2% of the MoHP budget, according to those I work with, and that in spite of the Ram Dev influence (which itself threatens Nepali Ayurveda). Might be an interesting and important collaboration between the two albeit not wholly different medical systems.

]]>
Comment on You can help stop drastic cuts to NSF funding for anthropology by Colonialism, Collapse, and Floods | Unstratified http://savageminds.org/2015/05/13/you-can-help-stop-drastic-cuts-to-nsf-funding-for-anthropology/comment-page-1/#comment-837709 Thu, 25 Jun 2015 12:58:38 +0000 http://savageminds.org/?p=16975#comment-837709 […]  In a day and age when funding to social sciences is being drastically cut (see recent proposed cuts to NSF funding for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences) we often strive to make our work […]

]]>
Comment on Anonymity, Ethnography, and Alice Goffman: Welcome, journalists by johnmccreery http://savageminds.org/2015/06/19/anonymity-ethnography-and-alice-goffman-welcome-journalists/comment-page-1/#comment-837707 Thu, 25 Jun 2015 05:40:50 +0000 http://savageminds.org/?p=17272#comment-837707 Daniel, it is only in the cloistered halls of anthropology that ethnography is taken to be something peculiarly anthropological. It was adopted as a method in urban sociology by the Chicago School in the 1930s, was eclipsed by quantitative methods (what Andrew Abbott calls the Standard Causal Model) in the 1950s and 60s, and has since enjoyed a renaissance. There are numerous qualitative anthropologists who do ethnography. “Ethnography” is now, moreover, a service routinely offered by marketing and consumer research suppliers around the world. Anthropologists may argue that short-term observational research combined with focus groups and in-depth interviews is not real ethnography — for the rest of the world such arguments are little more than academic bickering. In several articles (see, for example, Vol. 1, No. 1 of the free, online Journal of Business Anthropology, Marietta Baba has shown that an intimate tie between anthropology and ethnography is neither where anthropology began, as a form of armchair research using materials collected by others in the 19th century nor likely to be its future, given that most anthropologists will no longer enjoy the imperial privilege of prolonged participant-observation by scholars whose lives are expected to be dramatically different from those they study.

This does not imply that anthropologists have nothing to say about the Alice Goffman case. It does suggest that the common stance of aggrieved purists defending their turf is unlikely to contribute much to the debate.

]]>
Comment on Thinking about race like a cataloger by Matt Thompson http://savageminds.org/2015/06/16/thinking-about-race-like-a-cataloger/comment-page-1/#comment-837705 Wed, 24 Jun 2015 15:06:07 +0000 http://savageminds.org/?p=17217#comment-837705 Not yet, but if I come across the reference it will definitely be blog-worthy!

]]>
Comment on Anonymity, Ethnography, and Alice Goffman: Welcome, journalists by The Ethics of Ethnography, and Alice Goffman’s Ethnography about Crime in Philadelphia | Ethnography.com http://savageminds.org/2015/06/19/anonymity-ethnography-and-alice-goffman-welcome-journalists/comment-page-1/#comment-837704 Wed, 24 Jun 2015 13:30:58 +0000 http://savageminds.org/?p=17272#comment-837704 […] a thoughtful analysis of how journalists like Neyfakh evaluate ethnography, which can be accessed here.As he points out, the techniques of journalism and ethnography may use similar techniques […]

]]>
Comment on Anonymity, Ethnography, and Alice Goffman: Welcome, journalists by Daniel Goldstein http://savageminds.org/2015/06/19/anonymity-ethnography-and-alice-goffman-welcome-journalists/comment-page-1/#comment-837703 Tue, 23 Jun 2015 20:52:18 +0000 http://savageminds.org/?p=17272#comment-837703 Is anyone else annoyed that in the kerfuffle about the Alice Goffman book, “ethnography” is represented almost exclusively as a method used by sociologists? I have seen very little that mentions anthropology or anthropologists as ethnography’s chief disciplinary practitioners (i.e., unlike sociology, where quantitative social science remains pre-eminent). Am I being petty, or is it significant that anthropology figures so marginally in this discussion?

]]>