Between groups and rhizomes: a pragmatic perspective on anthropological means of presentation
Marta Stojic Mitrovic
(The Institute of Ethography of theSerbian Academy of Sciences and Arts)
Paper short abstract:
In this paper, the need of rethinking anthropological means of presenting constantly re-forming social constellations will be asserted through discussions of two social networks. Possible directions in solving the problem of (in)flexible presentations offered by pragmatic approach will be examined.
Paper long abstract:
During the last two years I have been researching two phenomena: the Erased of Slovenia, a marginalized and deprived administrative category of the Slovenian population, and the organization of (il)legal migrants i European cities. Both cases show rhizomatic properties and are thus not adequately explainable with the traditional concepts of bounded groups and categories. In the ever-changing contexts of their appearance in different realms these proactive and dynamic networks are constantly expanding and recoiling their aims and forms according to the opportunities and obstacles they encounter. They are conjoining with similar constellations in order to share experiences, obtain support, and concord future steps. Being theoreticaly orientated towards linguistic anthropology, I have found the pragmatic approach especially useful for dealing with such research problems. First of all, it challenges very fondations of the concept of concepts, a large part of which has been shown to be context sensitive, that is, exactly what the concepts were meant to avoid. Further, it shows that bounderies of concepts are volatile and by doing so, it overreaches logical distinctions between concepts and metaphors. In this paper, the need of rethinking anthropological means of presenting social constellations will be asserted through the display of concrete research material about two social networks. Possible directions in solving the problem of (in)flexible presentations offered by pragmatic approach will be examined.
From structure to conjucture: social networks and rhizomatic connnections