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Reconfiguring Scholarly Authority: Reflections Based on Anthropological Studies in Norway
Vol. 47, No. 6 (December 2006), pp. 915-931
Published by: The University of Chicago Press on behalf of Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/507199
Page Count: 17
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Cultural anthropology, Political anthropology, Anthropology, Field research, Lifeworld, Audiences, Mass media, Academic communities, Social reflexivity
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Social scientists loss of scholarly authority in the public realm has created a number of dilemmas. These dilemmas cannot be solved once and for all; they can only be lived in reflexive and multiperspectival research practices. The idea of a truthful and legitimate scholarly authority can be reconfigured in terms of research processes that are based on reflexive contextualization, cooperation with the people whose lifeworlds are examined, and dialogue with the general public. This reconfigured concept is grounded not in positions but in the quality of the relations (including uneasiness and conflict) between the scholar and his/her many interaction partners, including international colleagues, funding agencies, and the mass media. The provision of feedback and the dissemination of research findings to wider audiences is insurance against using other people as means rather than as ends and not examining real problems in the world. In other words, the quality of research relations is crucial for the development and maintenance of what C. Wright Mills called the sociological imagination.
2006 by The WennerGren Foundation for Anthropological Research. All rights reserved