Re: Book suggestion

Al Patenaude (patenaud@SFU.CA)
Sat, 26 Aug 1995 19:42:14 -0700

Anita, an excellent suggestion. Another text which I find helps us all to
understand the discipline of anthropology and, especially, fieldwork is
the late E.P. Thompson's _The Sykaos Papers_ in which he pokes fun at the
discipline by showing the exploits of an extraterrestrial anthropologist
who inadvertantly lands on Earth. The cross-cultural encounter with a
bull (to whom in greeting he waves a red cape), introduction to scotch
whiskey (known as "the real McCoy" by the locals), and his diaries offer
humourous introductions to problems we encounter in the field. These
included: learning the language, understanding the customs, dealing with
authorities (both political and bureaucratic), blending in daily activities
without (hopefully) affecting the actors, ethical behaviour (an interesting
affair between out hero and a local anthropologist), and seeing ourselves as
others see us. My best comment: a good read!

Al Patenaude
School of Criminology
Simon Fraser University email: