Reflections on Imagination: Human Capacity and Ethnographic Method

1st Edition

Mark Harris, Nigel Rapport

Routledge
Published December 18, 2017
Reference - 316 Pages
ISBN 9780815347200 - CAT# K345419
Series: Anthropological Studies of Creativity and Perception

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Summary

In this innovative volume, anthropologists turn their attention to a topic that has rarely figured as a focus of concerted investigation and yet which can be described as an intrinsic aspect of all human knowing and part of all processes by which human beings process information about themselves, their identities, their environments and their relations: the imagination. How do anthropologists use imagination in coming to know their research subjects? How might they, and how should they, use their imagination? And how do research subjects themselves understand, describe, justify and limit their use of the imagination? Presenting a range of case studies from a variety of locations including the UK, US, Africa, East Asia and South America, this collection offers a comparative exploration of how imagination has been conceptualized and understood in a range of analytical traditions, with regard to issues of both methodology and ethnomethodology. With emphasis not on abstraction but on imagination as activity, technique and subject situated in the middle of lives, Reflections on Imagination sheds new light on imagination as a universal capacity and practice - something to which human beings attend whenever they make sense of their environments and situate their life-projects in these environments - the means by which worlds come to be.

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