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Cuadernos de antropología social

versión On-line ISSN 1850-275X


BORGES, Antonádia. Exploring "popular" ethnography: anthropological insights from Brazilian satelite cities and South African townships. Cuad. antropol. soc. [online]. 2009, n.29, pp. 23-42. ISSN 1850-275X.

"Popular" ethnography is defined here as the process in which anthropologists and other people are engaged in a mutual research relationship. This simple statement comes from the fact that all of us spend a large part of our daily lives asking questions, formulating hypotheses, testing alternatives, and creating theories about our lives and those of Others. When we do not consider the people whom we do research with as subjects we reject the common tendency of categorizing them as populares. We avoid elevating a small group of so-called sages above the common masses. In other words populares cannot be considered intellectually beneath a dominant class. The goal of pointing out social constraints should not allow anthropologists to corroborate the same domination they supposedly are against. The research experience in Brazilian satellite cities and in South African townships help us challenge class-based analytical models. By not sustaining an elitist relationship, we have learned how important it is to assume a mimetic perspective of understanding of how people investigate their own lives and of those around them.

Palabras clave : Ethnography; Brazil; South Africa; Segregation; Poverty.

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