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Life, death, ethnography: epistemologies and methods of the quasi-event

Silvia Posocco (Department of Psychosocial Studies, Birkbeck, University of London, London, UK)

Qualitative Research Journal

ISSN: 1443-9883

Article publication date: 14 August 2017

205

Abstract

Purpose

What difference, if any, does it make to appeal to the ordinary and the everyday, the situated and always-already-in-relation, the emergent and the quasi-event (Povinelli, 2011), as simultaneously sites, objects and frames? The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Through a focus on epistemological and methodological reflection, this paper asks: what is the relation between the biopolitical and necropolitical terrain in and through which experience unravels and the conceptual apparatuses which hold the promise of analysis and critique? What analytics, methods and ethics do contemporary life and death formations and intersecting precarious modes of existence elicit?

Findings

In this paper, I approach these questions ethnographically, with reference to debates in social and cultural theory and drawing on long-term anthropological research in Guatemala.

Originality/value

This paper aims to make contribution to debates on biopolitical and necropolitical processes and dynamics, by reflecting on the implications for epistemologies, methods and infrastructures.

Keywords

Citation

Posocco, S. (2017), "Life, death, ethnography: epistemologies and methods of the quasi-event", Qualitative Research Journal, Vol. 17 No. 3, pp. 177-187. https://doi.org/10.1108/QRJ-10-2016-0063

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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