To the End of Theory-Practice ‘Apartheid’: Encountering the World

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A historical and comparative examination of ethnographic practice in sixteen nations around the globe reveals that theory-practice relations in anthropology and ethnography (A/E) have been shaped and re-shaped over time and space by complex contextual influences. This paper explores the evolution of theory-practice relationships in A/E over various regions of the world, tracing the beginning of a theory-practice ‘split’ from its origin under British colonialism, to its reappearance and institutionalization in post-World War II America, and postulating its absence in the ‘Second and Third Worlds’. Global practice in ethnography now appears to be converging toward a re-integration of theory and application across multiple disciplines and professions (a ‘hybrid’ approach), as ethnographers work to address urgent and poorly understood problems that are not well theorized.

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  3 comments for “To the End of Theory-Practice ‘Apartheid’: Encountering the World

  1. March 31, 2015 at 2:06 am

    […] continued every year since. For example, Marietta Baba’s keynote at the first EPIC conference, “To the End of Theory-Practice ‘Apartheid’: Encountering the World,” made the case for anthropological engagement in contemporary business concerns (2005). In “The […]

  2. June 16, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    […] To the End of Theory-Practice ‘Apartheid’: Encountering the World, Marietta Baba (free article, please sign in or sign up) […]

  3. August 28, 2017 at 6:58 pm

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