TRAMES 1/2, 3, 1999

Toomas Gross. From Theory to Fact in Anthropology: The Case of Mexican Ethnography

University of Cambridge

It is useless going into the field blind. Evans-Pritchard (1976:242)


The present article looks upon the relationship between theory and method in the the discipline of anthropology in general, and in the case of Mexican ethnography in particular. After a brief discussion of these issues in anthropology in general, a short overview of the development of Mexican anthropology into an applied social science is presented and various examples from the history of Mexican ethnography are used to illustrate that anthropologists in their placement into the field and in their methodological preferences have often been influenced by the theoretical schools to which they belonged, as well as their very personal intersts and backgrounds.

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