Postmodern Anthropology

Fri, 3 Dec 1993 14:29:48 EST

Fellow anthropoids,
I am just wondering, based on the buzz I've gotten from the dept. around
here, that there's a rather hostile backlash building up toward postmodernism
in anthropology...
Frankly, the problem is that both sides are really kind of dogmatic.
The pomos insist positivism is dead and the CMers and others insist that
pomo anthropology is 'antiscientific, nihilistic, relativistic to the
extreme, etc., etc.) As I see it, *both* approaches in anthro are useful -
the social-scientific, quantitative, behaviorist approach, and the
humanistic, interpretive, intersubjective approach. Heck, if there were
people who could do *both*, it would really be useful. We could collect
quantitative data and thick descriptions all at the same time.
Or is that the cardinal sin of eclecticism?
Anybody around here think that pomo is maybe, maybe, not just a fad, and
not just a variant of Nazism, and not just a new academic power game?
That maybe the pomos are on to something? That they might highlight
certain problems dealing with representation, power/knowledge, and
reflexivity? Can the pomos and CMers get along?
Just wondering