A Few Don'ts (And Dos) By A Cultural Phenomenologist

Steven Connor

Cultural Anthropology?

I have been asked on a couple of occasions what relation cultural phenomenology might have to cultural anthropology or ethnomethodology. I think it can readily be acknowledged that certain kinds of cultural anthropology are the nearest living relatives to the forms of writing, thinking and making I am hoping to excite and encourage. Appropriation of the ethnographic styles practised by anthropologists such as Clifford Geertz, as well as borrowings from the ethnographic borrowings of surrealists and of movements such as Mass Observation, are obviously and avowedly part of what I have in mind. Cultural phenomenology would be curious about the same range of subjects as cultural anthropology, and would take from it, or from borrowings from it, the habit of casting a friendly but unsettled eye upon the enigmatically habitual. It would also inherit the impulse to candour of certain kinds of ethnographic writing, the impulse to acknowledge rather than to conceal the fact that writing is taking place, and that a particular person is doing the writing.

| Steve Connor | English and Humanities | Birkbeck College |