Beiträge zur Kulturforschung


106. Jahrgang, 2/2010

Historische Ethnografie. Möglichkeiten und Grenzen eines Konzepts

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Jens Wietschorke


Both in the historical sciences as well as in European Ethnology repeated attempts have been made to transfer ethnographic methods into historical research. In a critical analysis of existing approaches, the present paper provides a methodological definition of the concept of „historical ethnography“ and defines its potentials and limitations. Included are works from classical folk culture research and the ,Melbourne School‘ as well as more recent studies on historical culture analysis. The thesis is developed that the epistemological claim of historical ethnography can only be met when social relations and cultural differences are analyzed systematically in their praxeological dimension. On one hand the author tries to determine the specificity of historical work within European ethnology. At the same time, however, ethnography is strengthened as an overarching concept that combines historical and contemporary issues.

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