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

By Carol J. Greenhouse | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 6
Democracy in the First Person

The discourse of solutions was a significant form of interdisciplinarity, drawing ethnography into fields well beyond anthropology. Anthropologists and sociolegal scholars alike—though not always known to each other—turned to the novelistic tropes of identity and narrative voice to articulate new means and ends for their professional visions of equality as a function of mutual understanding and acceptance. In this chapter, we juxtapose examples drawn from anthropology, sociolegal scholarship, and fiction to explore their varied formulations of self-identity before the law through the discourse of solutions. In those formulations, ambivalence is strategically key. First-person narration in these texts is oppositional, refusing encompassment. At the same time, the first-person singular—with whatever ironies—is iconic of the liberal subject: the responsible individual, making choices and taking ownership of his or her successes and failures. The tensions between these two positions is crucial to the play of genres in these works, as they entail different intertextualities and fundamentally different futures. Firstperson testimony bridges social science, fiction, and law—the suspension of disciplinary and genre difference in these instances being no mere signs of an eclectic age or one in tatters, but evidence of the effort needed to make new language out of old.

In the ethnographies of the 1990s, first-person testimony became iconic of progressive ethnography—answering the “crisis of representation” with self-representation in a register at once novelistic and legalistic. It also evokes pro se representation in a prosecutorial setting, in which the accused refuses the spokesmanship of another. In the community studies, significantly, the first-person singular borrows its “I” from the registers of both radical op-

-174-

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.