HAU

Two or three things I know about Ethnographic Theory

Giovanni da Col

Abstract


In the introduction to this collection, I aim to outline the debate sparked by Tim Ingold (2014) on the relation between ethnography and theory. I outline a few methodological principles that ground the idea of “ethnographic theory” by distinguishing it from some cognate approaches, including the so-called “ontological turn” and Ingold’s idea of correspondence. Rather than pursuing an isomorphism between thing and concept, between happenstances and their description, I argue that ethnographic theory rather aims to reach “satisfactory” (cf. Wittgenstein [1953] 2009) and “felicitous” (Austin 1975) effects, which account for the productive uncertainty at the core of human sociality and the anticipatory, subjunctive, and metapragmatic dimensions of any interaction.


Keywords


ethnography, theory, pragmatics, ethnographic theory, imagination, uncertainty

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14318/hau7.1.002