Decolonizing ethnographies

Raminder Kaur, Victoria Louisa Klinkert


For this Currents section, we have called upon anthropologists across the global South and North in the attempt to mainstream the long overdue issue of decolonizing ethnographies. On the one hand, movements for ethnic/racial equality across the world have made this task more and more pressing. On the other, reactionary forces have tried to suppress such moves alongside critical race theorization—an integral part of decolonizing—as unnecessary and even racist. Based in Brazil, Kenya, India, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States, contributors consider the decolonizing of ethnographies in terms of three overlapping areas: (i) ontologies and epistemologies that redress metanarratives and the history of ethnoracial occlusions and exclusions; (ii) social positions, approaches, and methods in terms of how we engage with other researchers, research participants, and students; and (iii) theoretical developments, representations, and effects in terms of how we present ethnographic research and to what ends.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/713966