A Thrice-Told Tale
is one ethnographer's imaginitive and robust reaction to the methodological concerns raised through feminist and postmodernist critics of conventional ethnography. the writer, a feminist anthropologist, makes use of 3 texts constructed out of her study in Taiwan—a piece of fiction, anthropological fieldnotes, and a social technological know-how article—to discover a few of those criticisms.
Each textual content takes a distinct viewpoint, is written in a unique variety, and has diverse "outcomes," but all 3 contain an analogous interesting set of occasions. a tender mom started to behave in a decidedly abherrant, probably suicidal demeanour, and opinion in her village used to be sharply divided over the explanation. was once she turning into a shaman, posessed by way of a god? was once she deranged, wanting actual restraint, medicinal drugs, and hospitalization? Or used to be she being cynically manipulated by way of her ne'er-do-well husband to elicit sympathy and funds from her associates? in any case, the lady was once taken clear of the world to her mother's apartment. For a few villagers, this settled the problem; for others the talk over her habit used to be most likely by no means really resolved.
The first textual content is a brief tale written almost immediately after the incident, which happened virtually thrity years in the past; the second one textual content is a duplicate of the fieldnotes accumulated in regards to the occasions lined within the brief tale; the 3rd textual content is a piece of writing released in 1990 in American Ethnologist that analyzes the incident from the author's present standpoint. Following each one textual content is a observation during which the writer discusses such issues as experimental ethnography, polyvocality, authorial presence and regulate, reflexivity, and a few of the variations among fiction and ethnography.
The 3 texts are framed by way of chapters during which the writer discusses the genereal difficulties posed by way of feminist and postmodernist critics of ethnography and offers her own exploration of those matters in a controversy that's strongly self-reflexive and theoretically rigorous. She considers a few feminist issues over colonial study equipment and takes concerns with the insistence of a few feminists tha the subjects of ethnographic examine be set by way of people who are studied. The e-book concludes with a plea for ethnographic accountability in response to a much less educational and more effective perspective.