human rights and relativism

Mon, 25 Apr 1994 13:19:04 -0600

I hope that nobody on the list takes this personally. The criticism implied in
this statement reflects my own frustration with these subjects, not the
particulars of what I have recently seen in my Emailbox.

With all due respect (assuming there is any), I would like to see some of the
more opinionated theoreticians and other contributors on this list deal with
something that might be more apropos to their expertise and ethical position in
anthropology. Moreover, the subject I want to suggest, in my opinion, brings
to the fore the very issue of ethics in doing and writing ethnography, history,
and other modes of representation.

What do you have to say about the rights to self-construction and self-
determination? And what of the role of Dan Foss' explanation industry in
mediating and often compromising these rights?


Matt Tomaso
Department of Anthropology
University of Texas at Austin