Seriously enough? Describing or analyzing the native(s) point of view
Carlos Eduardo Valente Dullo
(Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS))
Paper short abstract:
What happens with the attempt to describe the native point of view when that position is not morally acceptable? I suggest to multiply the points of view, showing the ways they overlap or conflict and analyzing the categories used to build them and the effects to maintain or disrupt their positions
Paper long abstract:
Speaking from within the Brazilian anthropology, I pose the question of the difficulties that arouse to the ethnographic practice that pretends to record and describe the native point of view. I sustain that the main way to avoid the problem is to keep describing a position that is morally acceptable and agrees with the one the anthropologist hold. What happens with the attempt to describe from the native point of view when that point of view is not morally acceptable? I try to develop some concerns about the lack of social critique in the current ethnographic mainstream of Brazilian anthropology by relating to the emphasis in the subaltern and dominated natives that are the main focuses of the fieldwork (and, when the dominant pole is aimed, it is done by its margins). It is more and more common to hear that we must "take the native seriously", echoing a Viveiros de Castro expression. My objective is to address a critique by arguing what does it mean to "take your native seriously"? Is it to be faithful to him? To believe in everything he says? So a way out of this impasse is to multiply the natives point of view in the fieldwork, showing the ways they overlap or conflict, making the misunderstanding between the them about what is happening as a way to show the relations of power, i. e., analyzing the categories used to build this point of view and the effects to maintain or disrupt their social positions.
After the crisis: neoliberalism, postmodernism and the discipline of anthropology (EN)