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notes for session 4

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  1. 1. Identities identity performance
  2. 2. Identities <ul><li>performance ethnography </li></ul><ul><ul><li>how do symbolic behaviours actually perform/challenge cultural values, traditions and customs that make up our community? </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Identities <ul><li>graffiti consists of symbols that reflect the values, issues and identities of particular ‘small’ cultures </li></ul><ul><li>graffiti performs by making statements </li></ul><ul><li>graffiti (per)forms values, identities, politics </li></ul>
  4. 4. Identities <ul><li>ethnography </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a method of interpreting actions in a manner that generates understanding in the terms of those performing the actions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Geertz: thick/thin description </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conquergood: ‘instead of speaking about them one speaks to and with them’ (1985) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>participant observation </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. the hermeneutic circle: rendering thick description Distance-experience meaning, in which the ethnographer tries to understand the behaviour using concepts removed from the context of study near-experience meaning, in which the ethnographer progressively gains appreciation of behaviours from the point of view of those behaving translation of near-experience meaning into distance-experience meaning for outsiders whilst preserving the near-experience meanings behaviour observed by people who are outside the ethnographers culture or social community
  6. 6. Identities <ul><li>personal narratives </li></ul><ul><ul><li>we all tell stories about who we are, what we’ve done, what we believe in, and how we operate in the world </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>some performance ethnographers are interested in collecting and performing such stories </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>true voices </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Identities <ul><li>is this an objective representation of experience or identity? </li></ul><ul><li>what are the effects being achieved in the telling? </li></ul><ul><li>what are the intentions in the telling? </li></ul>
  8. 8. Identities <ul><li>what are the risks of telling? </li></ul><ul><li>what are the risks of listening? </li></ul><ul><li>what makes a story true or false? </li></ul><ul><li>can an experience become true in the telling? </li></ul><ul><li>can it change in that process? </li></ul>
  9. 9. Identities <ul><li>The truth of stories is not only what was </li></ul><ul><li>experienced, but equally what becomes </li></ul><ul><li>experience in the telling and its reception </li></ul><ul><li>(Arthur Frank, 1995) </li></ul>
  10. 10. Identities <ul><li>Can performance ethnography accurately represent others and the experience of others in their own terms? </li></ul><ul><li>ethnography as a critical self- reflexive process and performance </li></ul><ul><li>self-reflexivity enables ethnography to recognise the limits of subjectivity and the dangers of misrepresentation in ways that methods claiming ‘objectivity’ do not. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Identities <ul><li>Giddens and reflexivity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a self-defining process that depends upon the monitoring of and reflection upon, psychological and social information about the possible ways that we can live. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ The reflexivity of social life consists I the fact that social practices are constantly examined and reformed in the light of incoming information about those practices, thus constitutively altering their character’ (Giddens, The Consequences of Modernity . p. 28) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The project of the self is ‘accomplished’ </li></ul>
  12. 12. Giddens on marriage
  13. 13. Summary <ul><li>stories and their performance are at the heart of many performance ethnographers </li></ul><ul><li>reflexivity helps to understand the human propensity to story tell </li></ul><ul><li>reflexivity and the stories we tell constitute the project of the self </li></ul>
  14. 14. Giddens <ul><li>Reflexivity in the post-traditional society </li></ul><ul><li>We make sense of social life and our place in it through the stories we tell. These stories constitute our autobiographies. </li></ul><ul><li>Identities are autobiographical projects which we negotiate with the cultural resources at our disposal. </li></ul>Concepts are used to create Theories are used to create Explanations