An Anthropology of Anthropology

The anthropologist has, as part of his culture, his conceptual scheme, a way of ordering his experience of another culture, a way of constructing the reality he believes he is encountering, and he is not easily shaken loose from that secure, reassuring, comfortable, well-worn common language to which he is committed and shares with his community of anthropologists, and which helps to define his place in that community. The anthropologist lives by his culture just as everyone else does, and it is very unnerving to distance oneself from one’s culture and community, for this leaves one without a firm anchor in some secure way of occupying a known place in a known world and ways of viewing the world.

From David Schneider’s A Critique of the Study of Kinship (Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1984), 196-197. 

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