ISBN is

978-0-8039-8402-8 / 9780803984028

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About the book:

Throughout the social sciences, traditional certainties about the nature of knowledge and the `scientific project' have been subjected to critique. This book examines the implications of that critique from the perspective of anthropology.

The authors explore key debates within anthropology about the role and legitimacy of the social scientist in constructing knowledge about others. They point to the Western ethnocentrism inherent in concepts such as culture and show how the subjects of anthropological study have often represented an exotic `other' through which to confirm or comment on the Western `self'. Constructions of `self', `other' and `difference' in social science research have frequently served to reproduce, rather than redress, race, gender and other inequalities.

The book also considers the tensions and paradoxes posed by postmodernist perspectives. It illuminates the related dilemmas - of possibility or paralysis - inherent in attempts to sustain a stance of reflexive self-critique.

Constructing Knowledge addresses themes at the centre of current developments in the social and human sciences. It will be essential reading not only within anthropology but for all those concerned with the theory and practice of social science research.

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