Social anthropology produces a specific kind of knowledge with sensitivity to ambiguities or even contradictions. The deeper anthropologists immerse themselves into local modes of thinking and action, the more likely paradoxes and ambiguities arise and scholars face the challenge of representing them. Such phenomena may be perceived as constitutive parts of social reality, results of semiosis or epistemic orientation of researchers who prefer to reflect upon their doubt and uncertainty. Sensitivity to ambiguity may even embody one of the key features of the discipline. While some anthropological traditions view ambiguity as a foundation and guiding principle of research entangled with indeterminacy of human and non-human agency, others attempt to tame it via causal reasoning, formal graphs or models. Public discourses, which stem from the economy of knowledge requiring clarity and unequivocalness, often suppress ambiguity. They expect results of anthropological research to be translated, evaluated, and applied.
Karolina Follis, University of Lancaster
Maritime Migration, Brexit and the Future of European Borders: Anthropological Previews
Thea Abu El-Haj, Rutgers University
Belonging in unsettled times: Mobilizing transnational citizenship and rights in an age of securitization
Susanna Trnka, The University of Auckland
Reclaiming the Ambiguity of Time: Illness and Healing, as One Case in Point“