Can Anthropology Make Valid Generalizations?

Feelings of Belonging in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest

in Social Analysis
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  • 1 University of Lisbon susana.viegas@ics.ulisboa.ptc
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This article deals with connections between phenomenological approaches and the production of valid generalizations in the making of ethnography. The argument is constructed through the presentation of valid generalizations that have a bearing on the intersubjective feelings of belonging among the Tupinambá Indians (south of Bahia). These feelings arise both from living in a small kinship compound, with its sense of immediacy and personalized attachments to space, and from becoming part of the larger category of Tupinambá people and territory. The intertwining of lived experience and a broader comparative perspective on sociality, raised both by Americanist and more general theoretical debates in anthropology, is considered. From this perspective, the article presents different processes of connection making as epistemological tools for ethnographic generalizations, constructed in a constant overlapping of scales.

Social Analysis

The International Journal of Anthropology