Modes of Theory – George Varghese

Is anthropology a coherent discipline in which one can have a clear subject position?

Anthropology has been changing all the time, just as its object has been changing. There has been a constant quest to find the zero point, which has kept shifting from the Native Americans, to the Aborigines, to the Africans, and so on.

Even in the term of theories, the ethnographic object has been constantly changing with each new thinker. I very strongly believe good anthropology can be done only through good ethnography. I do not have a model to fall back upon, models always fail. But the object itself gives you a subject position that you cannot escape. The object shapes your methodology and the theory you use. Ethnography gives you different modalities of details that theory cannot handle.

George Varghese


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