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Contemporary Comparative Anthropology – The Why We Post Project

Miller, D; Costa, E; Haapio-Kirk, L; Haynes, N; Sinanan, J; McDonald, T; Nicolescu, R; ... Wang, X; + view all (2019) Contemporary Comparative Anthropology – The Why We Post Project. Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology , 84 (2) pp. 283-300. 10.1080/00141844.2017.1397044. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper confronts the disparity between a tradition that has defined anthropology as a comparative discipline and the practices which increasingly embrace cultural relativism and the uniqueness of each fieldsite. It suggests that it is possible to resolve this dilemma, through creating a vertical structure that complements the horizontal task of comparison across fieldsites. This vertical structure is composed of different methods of dissemination which make explicit a series of steps from a baseline of popular dissemination which stresses the uniqueness of individuals, through books and journal articles with increasing degrees of generalisation and comparison. Following this structure leads us up through analysis to the creation and employment of theory. This allows us to make comparisons and generalisations without sacrificing our assertion of specificity and uniqueness. We illustrate this argument though a recent nine-field site comparison of the use and consequences of social media in a project called ‘Why We Post.’

Type: Article
Title: Contemporary Comparative Anthropology – The Why We Post Project
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/00141844.2017.1397044
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/00141844.2017.1397044
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Comparative anthropology, theory, social media, dissemination, digital anthropology
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10046687
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