Introduction: ethnographic engagements with global elites

Gilbert, Paul Robert and Sklair, Jessica (2018) Introduction: ethnographic engagements with global elites. Focaal, 81. pp. 1-15. ISSN 0920-1297

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Abstract

Anthropological interest in critical studies of class, system and inequality has recently been revitalized. Most ethnographers have done this from “below, while studies of financial, political and other professional elites have tended to avoid the language of class, capital and inequality. This themed section draws together ethnographies of family wealth transfers, philanthropy, and private-sector development, to reflect upon the place of critique in the anthropology of elites. While disciplinary norms and ethics usually promote deferral to our research participants, the uncritical translation of these norms “upwards” to studies of elites raises concerns. We argue for a critical approach that does not seek political purity, nor attempt to “get the goods” on elites, but which makes explicit the politics involved in doing ethnography with elites.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: class, critique, elites, ethnography, postcritique, studying up
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > International Development
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology > GN301 Ethnology. Social and cultural anthropology > GN406 Cultural traits, customs, and institutions > GN448 Economic organisation. Economic anthropology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology > GN301 Ethnology. Social and cultural anthropology > GN406 Cultural traits, customs, and institutions > GN492 Political organisation. Political anthropology
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Depositing User: Paul Robert Gilbert
Date Deposited: 31 May 2018 09:53
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2019 15:20
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/76232

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