By Pamela J. Stewart, Andrew J. Strathern

This publication argues that the breaking and re-making of frames of study underlie the heritage of theorizing in anthropology. Pamela J. Stewart and Andrew J. Strathern notice that this mode of study dangers fabricating over-essentialized dichotomies among viewpoints. The authors recommend a conscious, nuanced, people-centered method of all theorizing-one that avoids overall procedure methods (-isms) and recommend that conception should still relate cogently to ethnography. aware anthropology, as this publication envisages it, isn't really a particular idea yet a philosophical aspiration for the self-discipline as a whole.

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Sample text

If we concentrate on the dividual, it is easy enough to equate this dimension with personhood. However, this is illusory, because the ideals of personhood may equally recognize values of individuality. A common feature of discourse in numbers of the societies or languages of the Papua New Guinea Highlands is a concept that has as a core part of 44 BREAKING THE FRAMES its significance ‘mind’. A person for Hageners, for example, is someone who has a mind (noman petem) and is mindful (noman-oronga pitim).

Apart from this suggestion, Barth became aware of much local variation in ritual practices among neighboring areas. In 1982 he was invited by the Ministry for Energy and Minerals in the Papua New Guinea Government to revisit the area of his fieldwork and surrounding areas to assess changes and adaptations to change stemming from the activities of the Ok Tedi gold mine. Barth arrived in Papua New Guinea with his wife and colleague Unni Wikan, and one of us (AJS) received them at the office of the Institute of PNG Studies, where he was at the time Director, on leave from his position as Professor and Chair of Anthropology at University College London.

A mindful 20 BREAKING THE FRAMES approach to anthropology would keep us open in this way. It can be counterpoised creatively to approaches that steer practitioners into frames that are in vogue and are supposedly the hallmarks of a modern or contemporary version of theory. It is important to keep up with these frames of course, while bracketing them as provisional. It is even more important to realize that every time we adopt a particular frame we are excluding some other approaches or frames that might provide an insight of their own.

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