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Reversed Gaze An African Ethnography of American Anthropology

by Mwenda Ntarangwi

Reversed Gaze An African Ethnography of American Anthropology Synopsis

Deftly illustrating how life circumstances can influence ethnographic fieldwork, Mwenda Ntarangwi focuses on his experiences as a Kenyan anthropology student and professional anthropologist practicing in the United States and Africa. Whereas Western anthropologists often study non-Western cultures, Mwenda Ntarangwi reverses these common roles and studies the Western culture of anthropology from an outsider's viewpoint while considering larger debates about race, class, power, and the representation of the other. Tracing his own immersion into American anthropology, Ntarangwi identifies textbooks, ethnographies, coursework, professional meetings, and feedback from colleagues and mentors that were key to his development. Reversed Gaze enters into a growing anthropological conversation on representation and self-reflexivity that ethnographers have come to regard as standard anthropological practice, opening up new dialogues in the field by allowing anthropologists to see the role played by subjective positions in shaping knowledge production and consumption. Recognizing the cultural and racial biases that shape anthropological study, this book reveals the potential for diverse participation and more democratic decision making in the identity and process of the profession.

Reversed Gaze An African Ethnography of American Anthropology Press Reviews

A timely and welcome piece. --Anthropology Review Database By overtly coupling methodology, practice, reflexivity, and theory, Ntarangwi emphasizes the discipline's tenets of holistic, long-term community engagement ideally suited to provide cultural competency, which goes a long way in demonstrating professional relevancy. --African Studies Quarterly A novel ethnography of the contemporary United States, a critical call for new anthropology, and a much-needed critique of the anthropology field. Showing flashes of humor, regular reflexivity, and approachability, this book engages practicing anthropologists as well as aspiring professionals. --C. Richard King, author of Sport in the Pacific: Colonial and Postcolonial Consequences An intriguing book. . . . Highly recommended. --Choice Ntarangwi fills a huge gap in the burgeoning reflexive literature in anthropology, which has been predominately produced by Westerners. Eminently accessible and engaging, this book demonstrates that critique need not be a destructive exercise. --Faye V. Harrison, author of Outsider Within: Reworking Anthropology in the Global Age

Book Information

ISBN: 9780252077692
Publication date: 1st November 2010
Author: Mwenda Ntarangwi
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 176 pages
Categories: Anthropology, Ethnic studies,

About Mwenda Ntarangwi

Mwenda Ntarangwi is an associate professor of anthropology at Calvin College and the author of East African Hip Hop: Youth Culture and Globalization and Gender Identity and Performance.

More About Mwenda Ntarangwi

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