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Comparison In The Wild And More Disciplined Usages Of An Epistemic Practice

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Chapter Summary

From its very beginning as an academic discipline, anthropology defined itself as a comparative project. This chapter distinguishes between first- and second-order comparisons - broadly understood as first- and second-order observations, in which social actors tacitly or explicitly reflect on themselves and their own cultural embeddedness in a comparative mode of thought. It presents an analysis which shows how respondents used comparative styles of arguing to situate themselves socially and culturally, by concentrating on three different research locations, namely on Lund/ Sweden, Berlin/Germany, and Nicosia/Cyprus. The chapter also presents how the first-order comparative practices of our respondents challenged anthropological comparative practices that were employed in the context of the research project.

Keywords: anthropology; comparative practices; socio-cultural positions



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