A recently published article that might be of interest to visual anthropologists...
Abstract: This article
provides an “ethnography of ethnography” through exploring the balance between scientific
methods and humanistic insights in the process of cultural description. The
major argument presented is that anthropological fieldwork (especially
participant observation) and discourse (i.e. forms of cultural representation)
combine to become a cultural performance where the ethnographer serves as an
actor, director, recorder of events, writer, artist and audience all in one.
The application of performance theory in all phases of fieldwork along with
certain qualities of discourse style are introduced and referred to by the
author as “Gonzo Anthropology.” An analysis of the work of Hunter S. Thompson,
founder of gonzo methods, will be included along with examples of the author’s cultural
descriptions of Hare Krishnas in San Francisco and deaf people in Japan. This
essay is a product of twenty years of study, application, consideration and
reconsiderations of the ethnographic process and aims to contribute important,
relevant and interesting dialogue for multiple and multivocal actors and
audiences engaged in anthropological research.
Key Words: ethnography, cultural performance,
Hunter S. Thompson, Gonzo Anthropology
Fedorowicz, Steven C. (2013) Towards Gonzo Anthropology: Ethnography as Cultural performance, Journal of Inquiry and Research No. 98, Kansai Gaidai University, Hirakata, Japan.