Dis/working with Diagrams

How Genealogies and Maps Obscure Nanoscale Worlds (a Hunter-Gatherer Case)

in Social Analysis
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Standard diagrammatic tools in ethnographies, locational maps, and kinship trees are supposed to help make fieldwork and its findings intelligible to readers. This article explores how, to the contrary, they obscure locals’ lived worlds and the fieldwork process when they are used cross-culturally and cross-scalarly in studies of minuscule indigenous societies, anthropology’s traditional study subject. I draw on my experience of producing and using these visuals, from fieldwork through to writing ethnography, in my work with foragers who live in South India in order to show the effect of these diagrammatic tools on our understanding of nanoscale communities and their intimate worlds.

Social Analysis

The International Journal of Anthropology

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