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Pathways of PowerBuilding an Anthropology of the Modern World$
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Eric Wolf

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780520223332

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520223332.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 01 August 2021

On Fieldwork and Theory

On Fieldwork and Theory

Chapter:
(p.49) 4 On Fieldwork and Theory
Source:
Pathways of Power
Author(s):

Eric R. Wolf

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520223332.003.0005

Fieldwork has long replenished the lifeblood of anthropology through the continual engagement of the theory of observed realities of people's lives. This chapter serves to depict the role and import of fieldwork for anthropology and illustrates the gathering of data by anthropologists, sketching out ways in which anthropologists have tried to connect the studies of micropopulations with larger theoretical perspectives. Modern anthropological research begins with immersion in local experience and local knowledge, which is a first, yet important, step in bringing the headwork of theory into confrontation with the world. The field-worker's final text may register some of these experiences and voices, but they are not its primary purpose. Its goal is to provide a densely substantiated model of how material–social relations and signifying practices are mediated through the cultural forms of a specified population.

Keywords:   fieldwork, anthropology, theoretical perspectives, anthropological research, micropopulations

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