chapter  3
“Studying Up” in the Context of Civil War: Understanding Armed Defense of the Status Quo
Pages 22

This chapter examines the role of embodiment within experimental ethnography, the 'performance turn' in the social sciences, and the cognitive potential of performance for ethnographic research. It considers several examples of embodied ethnographic fieldwork, including the investigation of transmission processes among women from different cultures whose creative work is rooted in the cross-cultural performance research of influential Polish theatre innovator Jerzy Grotowski. The chapter suggests that the training and techniques employed to alter one's habitual behavioral and cognitive patterns hinge upon a productive disorientation which is particularly conducive to the mixing of head and heart evoked by Stoller. Stoller's unconventional ethnographic writing makes room for the author's embodied awareness of his surroundings, the people he meets, and the food he eats. This alternative mode of representation, which departs from disciplinary expectations, destabilizes the reader and raises the question of her/his empathy towards the ethnographer.