Navigators of the Contemporary: Why Ethnography Matters by David A. WestbrookNavigators of the Contemporary: Why Ethnography Matters by David A. Westbrook

Navigators of the Contemporary: Why Ethnography Matters

byDavid A. Westbrook

Paperback | November 15, 2008

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As the image of anthropologists exploring exotic locales and filling in blanks on the map has faded, the idea that cultural anthropology has much to say about the contemporary world has likewise diminished. In an increasingly smaller world, how can anthropology help us to tackle the concerns of a global society? David A. Westbrook argues that the traditional tool of the cultural anthropologist—ethnography—can still function as an intellectually exciting way to understand our interconnected, yet mysterious worlds.

Navigators of the Contemporary describes the changing nature of ethnography as anthropologists use it to analyze places closer to home. Westbrook maintains that a conversational style of ethnography can help us look beyond our assumptions and gain new insight into arenas of contemporary life such as corporations, financial institutions, science, the military, and religion. Westbrook’s witty, absorbing book is a friendly challenge to anthropologists to shed light on the present and join broader streams of intellectual life. And for those outside the discipline, his inspiring vision of ethnography opens up the prospect of understanding our own world in much greater depth.
David A. Westbrook is the Floyd H. & Hilda L. Hurst Faculty Scholar and professor of law at the University at Buffalo Law School. He is the author of City of Gold: An Apology for Globalization in a Time of Discontent and Between Citizen and State: An Introduction to the Corporation.
Title:Navigators of the Contemporary: Why Ethnography MattersFormat:PaperbackDimensions:160 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.5 inPublished:November 15, 2008Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226887529

ISBN - 13:9780226887524

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Table of Contents


I. Into the Present

     CHAPTER 1. The Venture
     CHAPTER 2. Culture Everywhere and Nowhere
     CHAPTER 3. Conversation as Another Kind of Solution
     CHAPTER 4. This Book and Other Books

II. An Ethnography for Present Situations

     CHAPTER 5. What?
     CHAPTER 6. Where?
     CHAPTER 7. Who?
     CHAPTER 8. When?
     CHAPTER 9. How?
     CHAPTER 10. Why?

III. In the University

     CHAPTER 11. Rupture and Continuity
     CHAPTER 12. Theory
     CHAPTER 13. Fieldwork
     CHAPTER 14. Writing
     CHAPTER 15. One Discipline among Others

IV. In the World

     CHAPTER 16. The Intellectual's Situation
     CHAPTER 17. The Imaginary and the Political
     CHAPTER 18. Ethnography and the Bureaucratic University
     CHAPTER 19. From Science to Romance
     CHAPTER 20. Reprise

Editorial Reviews

“This is a smart, dense, elegant, thoughtful little book.”