Moral anthropology: a critique of criticism

Van Dinther, Kristine (2020) Moral anthropology: a critique of criticism. HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory, 3 (10). pp. 1005-1021.

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The anthropology of morality continues to be met with resistance. Opposition rests on the perception that one cannot study morals without moralizing or advocating which makes it both epistemologically and professionally questionable. This blinkered view towards the objectives of moral anthropology ignores the differences in approaches which need to be considered if epistemic integrity is the real issue. Since most criticisms are aimed at Didier Fassin and Nancy Scheper-Hughes, I argue that the issue is political and that this singling out of their work raises its own set of questions regarding professional ethics. With reference to my own work and others who focus on embodied moralities, I will show that neither moralizing nor advocating are an inevitable consequence of this approach and that the study of morals has genuine ethnographic value.

Item ID: 65911
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2049-1115
Keywords: Moral anthropology, criticism, ethics, politics, structural violence, phenomenology
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Copyright Information: © 2020 The Society for Ethnographic Theory. All rights reserved.
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This is the first of two articles published as part of a debate entitled 'A/Moral Anthropology' Debate. The reply to commentary from the various authors critiquing my arguments is also listed here.

Date Deposited: 08 Feb 2021 23:25
FoR Codes: 44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4401 Anthropology > 440107 Social and cultural anthropology @ 50%
50 PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES > 5002 History and philosophy of specific fields > 500206 History and philosophy of the social sciences @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society @ 50%
95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9504 Religion and Ethics > 950401 Bioethics @ 20%
95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9504 Religion and Ethics > 950407 Social Ethics @ 30%
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