Local craft, theory from abroad: Jacek Olędzki's phenomenology
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In this article the author focuses on Polish ethnographies written between 1960-1990 by Jacek Olędzki and argues that it is possible to find a particular way of seeing ethnographic details in these works. The larger part of this ethnographic knowledge was gained thanks to specific skills of noticing and collecting non-discursive data during fieldwork. Therefore, a certain craft of participant observation has been developed within the Polish anthropological tradition. The author refers also to seeing and understanding ethnographic details within the phenomenological/experiential literature in Western anthropology championed by Thomas Csordas, Michael Jackson and Tim Ingold. Yet, these are usually studies which express very clearly their methodological points. On the contrary, the craft of seeing and understanding in Olędzki’s ethnography is rather practiced than spelled out in the form of methodological claims. Therefore, some pertinent questions are put forward here: is there anything particular in Olędzki’s tradition of gathering ethnographic material? Is there anything comparable in his use of the experiential sources with any Western ethnographic methodologies?
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