Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Announcement: "Towards Gonzo Anthropology: Ethnography as Cultural Performance"

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.

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