Lifeworld-Ethnography in Karchana, India: A model for ‘writing culture’ the holistic way

16:00 to 18:00
Lecture by Øyvind Jaer

In this second of two special lectures by Dr. Phil. Øyvind Jaer, he revisits themes from his book Karchana. The book is in many ways a ‘classical’ monograph of an Indian village, based on fieldwork in 1985-86. It also offers an innovative approach to ‘writing culture’ the holistic way. Of importance in this regard is the concept of the lifeworld, defined as “the socio-cultural whole within which the day-to-day life of the villagers of Karchana takes place and their lived experiences are formed”. Jaer argues that this lifeworld-ethnography approach enables us to grasp the village as part of the great community/tradition and larger scales of processes in which the lives of the villagers are increasingly embedded. This approach can also be read as a modern attempt to handle what Marcus and Fischer termed “a crises of representation in the human sciences” based, according to the authors, on “conveying other cultural experiences” and “taking account of world historical political economy”.

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