Issue 1/2013, 109. Volume Page 1–27
“Turns” and “Tunes”: The Historicity of Ethnological Knowledge
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In the wake of the “cultural turn” in cultural and social sciences, our relation to the “space of history” has changed significantly in recent years: on the one hand, ethnographic-anthropological studies are more and more oriented towards presentday topics and “actualistic” issues, on the other hand and at the same time we are increasingly looking for historical references in order to “legitimize” our concepts, to “authenticate” our findings and to “moralize” our positions. “Historicity” therefore seems in danger of being reduced to the “symbolic” capital and potential of our discipline – a discipline that used to justify its recommencement after 1945 and its reorientation after 1968 explicitly with the “historicization” of its social and cultural perspective. My text is intended to encourage a more active engagement with this change in historical perspective in the discipline as well as in society, a more accurate registration of changes in the social knowledge of history and a renewed understanding of our relation to the space of history as central negotiation mode of the presence. This is above all important in order to oppose tendencies of fundamentalism, re-biologization and de-secularization of postcolonial world views more informed and more vigorously.
history of science, cultural turn, “Writing History”, Research Ethics, ethnologization of social sciences