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The Power of the BetweenAn Anthropological Odyssey$
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Paul Stoller

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780226775340

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226775364.001.0001

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Prologue: The Power of the Between

Prologue: The Power of the Between

(p.1) Prologue: The Power of the Between
The Power of the Between
University of Chicago Press

Anthropologists are always “between” things—between “being there,” as the late Clifford Geertz put it and “being-here,” between two or more languages, between two or more cultural traditions, between two or more apprehensions of reality. Anthropologists are the sojourners of “the between.” They go there and absorb a different language, culture, and way of being and return here, where they can never fully resume the lives they had previously led. This book attempts to write about how living anthropology can transform its practitioners, changing their conception of who they are, what they know, and how they apprehend the world. It is the story of the author's life in anthropology, of his attempt to understand the social and cultural complexities of contemporary life, of his struggle to write about life in the world. This book suggests that acknowledging the power of the anthropological between is an insightful way to make better sense of the quandaries of human being.

Keywords:   anthropologists, anthropology, contemporary life

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