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Ingold: ‘Anthropology is not ethnography’ (full text)

May 19, 2009

I have just discovered that Tim Ingold’s 2007 Radcliffe-Brown Lecture at the British Academy, entitled “Anthropology is not ethnography” is now freely available in full on the British Academy site (PDF). (See also a much abridged version here and below). This is how the lecture starts:

THE OBJECTIVE of anthropology, I believe, is to seek a generous, comparative but nevertheless critical understanding of human being and knowing in the one world we all inhabit. The objective of ethnography is to describe the lives of people other than ourselves, with an accuracy and sensitivity honed by detailed observation and prolonged first-hand experience. My thesis is that anthropology and ethnography are endeavours of quite different kinds.


5 Comments leave one →
  1. May 22, 2009 11:54 pm

    I agree that anthropology is not ethnography, of course! But I would disagree that “The objective of ethnography is to describe the lives of people other than ourselves…” it is, I think, a very restricted way of conceptualizing ethnography nowadays… but I will read the article more carefully. Thanks, John!

  2. May 28, 2009 10:29 pm

    I agree with you, Elisenda. Do let me know what you make of the lecture once you’re read it.

  3. January 3, 2013 4:55 pm

    I just found that someone uploaded the lecture in you tube. If you are more of a listening person, you could have a go at listening to this. It is divided in 10 min parts:

  4. January 4, 2013 12:16 am

    Thanks Wallis!


  1. ethnography vs. anthropology « kraut atlantik

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