In most anthropological studies, it is a group of people—the Cheyenne warriors, the Samoan adolescents, the Balinese villagers—who are transformed into the heros/heroines of the stories we tell each other. In this study, I have chosen to make a form of interaction—the meeting—the hero; or, if you prefer, the villain of my story. Because we have chosen to look behind (see R. Rosaldo 1980:17) rather than at meetings, our literature is organized around other topics. I have tried to reverse this process, first by arguing that meetings need to become a topic of research in their own right and then by attempting to demonstrate what we learn about how social systems are constructed and how individuals make sense of them, when we put meetings in the foreground. In this chapter, I would like to highlight some of the contributions of this approach to meetings, recognizing that work in this area is still in a very early stage.
KeywordsMental Health Center Anthropological Study Folk Theory Commonsense Understanding Caroline Island
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