A Thrice-Told Tale: Feminism, Postmodernism, and by Margery Wolf

By Margery Wolf

A Thrice-Told story is one ethnographer's resourceful and strong reaction to the methodological matters raised via feminist and postmodernist critics of conventional ethnography. the writer, a feminist anthropologist, makes use of 3 texts built out of her examine in Taiwan—a piece of fiction, anthropological fieldnotes, and a social technology article—to discover a few of those criticisms.Each textual content takes a distinct point of view, is written in a unique kind, and has diverse "outcomes," but all 3 contain an analogous attention-grabbing set of occasions. a tender mom started to behave in a decidedly abherrant, might be suicidal demeanour, and opinion in her village used to be sharply divided over the explanation. used to be she turning into a shaman, posessed by way of a god? used to be she deranged, wanting actual restraint, medicines, and hospitalization? Or was once she being cynically manipulated through her ne'er-do-well husband to elicit sympathy and funds from her friends? finally, the lady was once taken clear of the realm to her mother's condominium. For a few villagers, this settled the problem; for others the talk over her habit was once most likely by no means actually resolved.The first textual content is a brief tale written presently after the incident, which happened virtually thrity years in the past; the second one textual content is a replica of the fieldnotes accumulated concerning the occasions coated within the brief tale; the 3rd textual content is an editorial released in 1990 in American Ethnologist that analyzes the incident from the author's present point of view. Following every one textual content is a remark within which the writer discusses such themes as experimental ethnography, polyvocality, authorial presence and keep watch over, reflexivity, and a few of the diversities among fiction and ethnography.The 3 texts are framed by way of chapters during which the writer discusses the genereal difficulties posed by way of feminist and postmodernist critics of ethnography and provides her own exploration of those matters in a controversy that's strongly self-reflexive and theoretically rigorous. She considers a few feminist issues over colonial learn tools and takes concerns with the insistence of a few feminists tha the themes of ethnographic examine be set by way of people who are studied. The e-book concludes with a plea for ethnographic accountability in accordance with a much less educational and more effective point of view.

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Now she doesn't want it. " Later, Wu Chieh asked 369 (F 24) about the god, and 369 said that 48'S mother had tried to sell her the god because 48 didn't want it. Wu Chieh asked 369 why she thought 48 was ill. "Well, it is because of the $90 that her husband took and gave to a friend to go and gamble. " 369 then told Wu Chieh that she and 447 (F 35) were standing earlier in the yard outside of 48'S house wondering if she could sleep and 48 overheard them and yelled: "No. No. " 67 Wu Chieh said that later, when she was doing child observations, she overheard 48'S mother telling 48 that she had found the money in a drawer and asked her if she wanted to keep it herself or if she wanted "mother" to keep it for her.

She waved them off as if they were curious chickens, and they scattered like chickens. She turned again to WU Chieh, rubbed her hands, telling her that everything would be peaceful with her. As she talked, she continued to make bai-bai motions, to jump about, and finally fell over backward on the ground. She lay on the ground for some time, and Wu Chieh said that when she opened her eyelids, all she could see were the whites , of her eyes. After a bit, she got up and told everyone to go ! " People moved off to the edge of the yard, some of them whispering, some of them laughing, but after a bit, the crowd slowly began to edge toward the house.

Later Wu Chieh overheard 47 telling all of the women that he knew that it wasn't true that the god was in her body. Wu Chieh commented that only 48'S mother seemed to be really worried, while 47 seemed to greatly enjoy telling about the whole thing. 47 said to the women who had gathered in the yard in front of his house: "When I do something, I do it straight [never change my mind]. " One woman commented to another that 48 was getting better, and 47 interrupted: "No, it is very bad now. It is very bad now.

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