Many may know the book of David Jacobson, "Reading Ethnography", a work that talks about the methods which show on producing ethnography, since "functionalism" to "post-modernism". Historicizing what you read can be a nice way to do it, but is it the only way to do it? Or is it fixing authors to periods the only way to storicize what you read? What about when you read an author contemporary of your self?

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Personally, I am an advocate of what I call generous reading. I approach reading in the same spirit as I do an ethnographic interview. I am engaged in active listening, suspending judgment, and open to the possibility that there is something interesting to be learned from what the author is saying. I follow the path of Victor Turner, who wrote in "Social Dramas and Ritual Metaphors" that,

Although we take theories in the field with us, these become relevant only if and when they illuminate social reality. Moreover, we tend to find very frequently that it is not a theorist's whole system which so illuminates, but his scattered ideas, his flashes of insight taken out of systematic context and applied to scattered data. Such ideas have a virtue of their own and may generate new hypotheses. They even show how scattered facts may be systematically connected!

Reading ethnography from this perspective, I am less concerned with blanket praise or condemnation of a book or an author than the possibility that there may be something interesting or useful to be found in what the author has written.
Hi, John! Pardon my english up there, it's a bit rusty.

Your generous approuch to reading ethnography in the same way we should do ethnography is interesting indeed. Because, considering what you show Turner calling scattered facts, these are facts that may be given for free by the subjects to the ethnhographer end then to his readers, without warning, and they even slip away to the records, out of the ethnographers control.
So what might be considered to be accessed through judgemental critical reading - to find the writer's flaws - may be, in fact, accessed through suspeded judgement.
If you're generous, you can get iven more in return, as would say Marcel Mauss. In this case, generosity is to give away your certainties and your need to find and take from the text what it doesn't have.

I may quot you soon! Ehehe...
Reading as the return of the gift — I like that a lot.

One of the reasons that I advocate generous reading is my perception that our situation as readers has changed dramatically during my lifetime. In a time now more than a half century past, I grew up in an intensely religious family, rebelled and went off to university to study first philosophy and then anthropology. Now that I have a bit of perspective, I see the "critical reading" I learned on both sides of this divide as defensive in a rather nasty passive-agressive mode, where the goal of the reader is to unmask the author as a fool and to keep the reader's prejudices intact. This does not mean, I hasten to add, that to advocate generous reading is to advocate abandoning judgment — a wholly non-judgmental stance is one that leaves us stuck where we start. The trick is to reserve judgment, to be genuinely open to the unexpected and uncomfortable, and thus able to learn or create something new.

I imagine what goes on in my mind as I read as a brainstorming session at the Japanese ad agency where I used to work. Shibata Tsuefumi, one of the best creative directors I worked with, says that it knows a meeting is going well when people start to say, dattara, sa, i.e., "Well in that case...," and the new ideas start flowing.

Guilherme L J Falleiros said:
Hi, John! Pardon my english up there, it's a bit rusty.

Your generous approuch to reading ethnography in the same way we should do ethnography is interesting indeed. Because, considering what you show Turner calling scattered facts, these are facts that may be given for free by the subjects to the ethnhographer end then to his readers, without warning, and they even slip away to the records, out of the ethnographers control.
So what might be considered to be accessed through judgemental critical reading - to find the writer's flaws - may be, in fact, accessed through suspeded judgement.
If you're generous, you can get iven more in return, as would say Marcel Mauss. In this case, generosity is to give away your certainties and your need to find and take from the text what it doesn't have.

I may quot you soon! Ehehe...

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