Accepted paper:

Walking knowledge: traversing from ethnographic details to universal patterns

Author:

Shuhua Chen (University of St Andrews)

Paper short abstract:

Based on an ethnographic account of a walk in Longtian village in south China, this paper attempts to address the tension between grounded ethnographic details and imagined universal patterns by exploring the concept of ‘walking knowledge’, in the sense of knowing details through experience within and across space and time.

Paper long abstract:

The tension between ethnographic details and universal patterns has long been a key debate in anthropological methodology. This paper attempts to address this tension by exploring the concept of ‘walking knowledge’, in the sense of knowing details through experience within and across space and time. Specifically, the paper begins with a detailed ethnographic account of a walk in Longtian village (in south China). Then it follows an analysis of how the process of experience in walking becomes a way of knowing and the ‘walking knowledge’ it gains from this very process. The paper ends with discussion of a possible implication of the ‘walking knowledge’ in mediating the tension between grounded ethnographic details and imagined universal patterns.

panel P79
The best of 'Ideas in Movement': papers from the RAI Postgraduate Conference