RESPONDING TO THE ANTHROPOLOGIST: WHEN THE SPIRITUAL BAPTISTS OF TRINIDAD READ WHAT I WRITE ABOUT THEM
Stephen D. Glazier
Our university sociologists should undertake a serious in-depth study of those believers [the Shouters] who may well represent our only indigenous group. No such study exists and the lack of appreciation may well be solved by greater understanding. We believe that the country as a whole should have an opportunity to know more about the Spiritual Baptists who are still largely a mystery to those of us who know so little about their faith. What are their beliefs, their origins, and their development?
Trinidad Guardian, January 21, 1980
All contemporary ethnography is done is an independent and mutually informed world where the ethnographer and his subjects are both a priori familiar and alien to one another.
Marcus and Fischer 1986:112
The traditional view of anthropological texts as "research reports" or "results" is far too restrictive, one-sided, and sterile. It is also a distortion in a world where increasingly those whom anthropologists study can read what is written about them. This traditional, romantic,1 and hegemonic view has faced much criticism of late, and as Vincent Crapanzano ( 1977a; 1986), George Marcus and Michael M. J. Fischer ( 1986), and James Clifford ( 1988) have pointed out, the traditional, nonreflexive view often does violence both to the process of creating an anthropological text and to the actual encounter of anthropologist and informant. It also greatly underplays the significance of the text itself, which, as the
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Publication information: Book title: When They Read What We Write:The Politics of Ethnography. Contributors: Caroline B. Brettell - Editor. Publisher: Bergin & Garvey. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 1993. Page number: 37.
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