The Paradox of Relevance: Ethnography and Citizenship in the United States

By Carol J. Greenhouse | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 4
Textual Strategy
and the Politics of Form

In the 1990s, as key elements of New Deal liberalism faded from the federal U.S. legislative arena, they remained objects of interdisciplinary dialogue and academic debate—often indirectly, re-routed as questions of theory and method. As ethnographers called for attention to narrative in their texts, their coding of voice as the means and ends of critical agency drew from the politics of representation that the new neoliberal mainstream had made its discursive foil. The new attention to narrative was selective in its tuning to subaltern and marginalized identities—the poor, women, victims of violence, new immigrants, people of color—that is, wherever public policy cancelled commonsense notions of public relief in favor of marketized renderings of the public good.1 The legislative hearings discussed in the previous chapter make these tunings clear, especially in relation to marriage, family life, employment, and social values as these were coded politically around the work ethic and gender norms. Equal opportunity was open to individuals, but—so it seemed—only to the extent that they might leave their communities behind.

Sociolegal studies, anthropology, and related disciplines were drawn into adjacency by these developments—in particular, in the critical valence they were prepared to find in voice as an expression of subaltern agency, consciousness, and resistance. The critical significance of voice in this sense preceded its interpretive significance within anthropological monographs about the United States, as the fact of the speaking subject dominated over the content of the subject’s spoken words. To put this another way, voice and agency are more consistent in relation to the structure of the ethnographies than in relation to their substance per se. In this chapter, we examine the structural

-107-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Paradox of Relevance: Ethnography and Citizenship in the United States
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Prologue 1
  • Chapter 1 - Relevance in Question 23
  • Chapter 2 - Templates of Relevance 46
  • Chapter 3 - Texts and Contexts 74
  • Chapter 4 - Textual Strategy and the Politics of Form 107
  • Chapter 5 - The Discourse of Solutions 142
  • Chapter 6 - Democracy in the First Person 174
  • Chapter 7 - Gendering Difference and the Impulse to Fiction 200
  • Chapter 8 - Markets for Citizenship 230
  • Envoi - Empirical Citizenship 256
  • Notes 269
  • References 279
  • Index 307
  • Acknowledgments 319
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 321

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.