The Innocent Anthropologist: Notes from a Mud Hut (Travel Library)

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9780140095364: The Innocent Anthropologist: Notes from a Mud Hut (Travel Library)

Nigel Barley was a ?new anthropologistOCO, one of the younger generation of academics whose learning and research had been acquired in institutes, research departments, from academic journals and university libraries. But after suffering years of gentle put-downs from leathery old field-workers, their ?teeth permanently gritted from years of dealing with nativesOCO, he was determined to gain his own experience. The two years he spent among the Dowayo people in the Cameroons (1978-80) produced a comic masterpiece of travel writing, The Innocent Anthropologist, which remains as honest, as funny and as compelling a read as when it was first penned ? and a devastating critique of academics attempting to impose their rules and their order on West African life."

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"The prevalence of factual data in anthropological monographs stems . . . from an attitude of 'when in doubt, collect facts.' This is, in a sense, an understandable approach. So off I went every day, armed with my tobacco and notebooks and paced out the fields, calculated the yields, counted the goats in a flurry of irrelevant activity. This at least had the virtue of making my weird and inexplicable ways familiar to the Dowayos and I began to know them by name." (from Chapter 6)

Review:

"I absolutely love this book and am using it this semester. The text is extremely readable and provides students with real insight into how fieldwork can go right even in the face of adversity." --Yvonne Downes, Hilbert College

"I have decided to use it in my Introduction to Cultural Anthropology course. Its strength was the author's clear articulation of the fieldwork process in all its highs and lows." --Christina Schwenkel, University of California, Riverside

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