The postmodern approach to the writing of ethnographic texts is characterized by authorial self-reflection and a "dialogic" approach to anthropological fieldwork, techniques derived from the philosophical method of hermeneutics. But this method is problematic when confronting issues of political economy in ethnography. This paper presents an analysis of ethnographic works by Jean Comaroff and Michael Taussig, two texts that attempt to incorporate both an interpretive and a world-systems perspective. The paper examines the value of a hermeneutic method for anthropology, suggesting that while self-reflection is useful in cultural analysis, the hermeneutic method cannot be applied wholesale to the practice of anthropology.
Keywords: Hermeneutics, Ethnography
How to Cite: Goldstein D.M., (1991) “Hermeneutics and Ethnography: An Interpretation of Two Texts”, Arizona Anthropologist 7.