Spojrzeć na świat jak antropolog. Wyzwanie autobiograficzne
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In this essay, I first investigate the meaning of the phrase „to look at the world like an anthropologist”, revealing that it may take on various connotations depending on the assumed epistemological position. These positions, namely that of a novice, an expert or a revelator, are determined by the hierarchy of statuses in the community of scientific discourse. Further on, I attempt to demonstrate how the various epistemological positions are associated with differing autobiographical postures, describing primarily the connection between the position of a revelator with the posture of autobiographical challenge (which, following Małgorzata Czermińska, is distinguished from the posture of testimony and the posture of confession). I propose to discover the autobiographical posture of challenge, and the revelatory tone which accompanies it, in the „pre-texts “ and „post-texts”, i.e. introductions, prologues and authorial prefaces, as well as commentarial conclusions, epilogues and authorial afterwords in books and other large works. In the approach I propose, all these texts, being relatively short and having the character of a summary or an preamble to a larger autobiographical text, are perceived as „small autobiographies”. After all, „small autobiographies” are happy to present vast challenges. To illustrate and thus support my thesis, I use examples from three books by recognized authors: Michael Herzfeld`s Anthropology. Theoretical Practice in Culture and Society (2001, Polish edition 2004), Kirsten Hastrup`s A Passage to Anthropology: Between Experience and Theory (1995, Polish edition 2008), and Paul Willis` The Ethnographic Imagination (2000, Polish edition 2005).
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