Against Translation: The Role of the Researcher in the Production of Ethnographic Knowledge

  • João de Pina-Cabral
Part of the St Antony’s / Macmillan Series book series


Over the past few years we have witnessed a resurgence of interest in fieldwork with participant observation among younger social anthropologists.1 Some colleagues criticise this tendency as a return to ‘traditional descriptive roles’ (Llobera 1986: 32). This seems to me a conservative way of interpreting what is in fact a creative attitude (cf. Loizos 1987 and Pina-Cabral 1987). Confronted with the progressive decay of the ‘grand theories’ which dominated social anthropology in the 1970s, and being unwilling or unable to disregard the serious erosion of analytic categories which took place at that time, younger anthropologists found it necessary to turn again to empirical research as the means for creative thinking.


Participant Observation Graphie Knowledge Grand Theory Europe Observe Fieldwork Experience 
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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • João de Pina-Cabral

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