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Special Issue: Ethnographic engagements with global elites: mutuality, complicity & critique
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-09, 13:36 authored by Jessica Sklair, Paul GilbertPaul Gilbert
In recent decades there has been something of a turn away from critique in anthropology and neighboring disciplines. Rather than confront the fact that the generation of global inequalities has, at its core, an intimate network of human relations, anthropologists and those in neighboring disciplines have begun to present a turn toward critique as an anti-ethnographic move that curtails one’s ability to function properly as an ethnographer or produce sensitive, rich ethnographic work. It is this postcritical turn, most visible in anthropological work with groups that might be considered “elite,” that the contributors to this theme section wish to confront. Rather than choose between a distanced, critical political-economic perspective on elites and an intimate ethnographic approach that whisks political economy out of sight, the contributors to this issue would rather engage with ethical, political, and analytical challenges posed by studying both critically and ethnographically in global elite settings. Th ese settings include the “Alpha Territories” of London, where wealthy families reproduce themselves and their capital through highly gendered forms of labor (Glucksberg, this issue); the family homes of a wealthy Brazilian family concerned with reproducing its members as “socially responsible” industrialists (Sklair, this issue); and the private sector development initiatives that emerge in the encounters between development officials based in London and factory owners based in Dhaka (Gilbert, this issue).
Department affiliated with
- International Development Publications
NotesThis is an edited special issue edited by Jessica Sklair, Paul Robert Gilbert
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